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State Health officials ask Hoosiers to scale-back Thanksgiving gatherings

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INDIANAPOLIS (WPTA21) - Have you made plans for Thanksgiving this year?

Indiana's top doctor said Thanksgiving plans need to look different this year as the state continues to see COVID-19 outbreaks and soaring hospitalizations.

"To be frank, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. You can still celebrate by having a small dinner with your immediate family," Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said.

"If you do plan to be with people outside of your immediate household or social bubble, take steps now to avoid exposing others."

You can check out the CDC's holiday guidance here.

The Indiana State Department of Health does not recommend taking a loved one out of a long-term care facility to celebrate Thanksgiving.

"These Hoosiers are among our most vulnerable, both in age and underlying conditions, and we want to do everything we can to protect them," Dr. Box said.

Here are some things to keep in mind while planning a family get-together:

Lower Risk Activities

  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household
  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn't involve contact with others (ex: leaving meal on doorstep)
  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes
  • Shopping online instead of in-person
  • Watching sports events, parades and movies from home

Moderate Risk Activities

  • Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community
  • Lower your risk by following CDC's recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs
  • Attending a small outdoor sports event with safety precautions in place

Higher Risk Activities

  • Avoid these higher-risk activities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
    • Going shopping in crowded stores
    • Participating or being a spectator at a crowded sports event
    • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside your household

Coronavirus resources

  • Click here for the latest CDC novel coronavirus resources and links.
  • Track the COVID-19 globally using this map tracker here.
  • You can view the latest Indiana COVID-19 numbers here.
  • Track Ohio's coronavirus numbers here.
  • Need to get tested? Click here to find a testing site near you.
  • You can catch up on the latest ABC21 coronavirus coverage here.
  • Sign up here for the latest local, state and national news regarding COVID-19.
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Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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