Health officials urge Washingtonians not to gather for Thanksgiving |

OLYMPIA, WA (KPTV) – Washington state health officials are urging Washingtonians not to gather for Thanksgiving and to only celebrate with members of your household.

The Washington Department of Health says time is running out to try and flatten the curve. Health professionals say the holidays will be a big test to see if people follow guidelines and keep cases of COVID-19 down or if new measures will have to be considered.

Those health experts are blaming social gatherings for the increasing cases of COVID-19.

The Department of Health said Washington is seeing increasing rates of the virus among all age groups. They say that is evidence of widespread community spread.

Experts say this Thanksgiving, it’s important to forego the usual festivities and stick with a more intimate setting for the holiday. They say to gather only with the people you live with and celebrate with others virtually.

“We’re at the point where if we cannot change the current trajectory of disease by changing our behaviors, we’ll need to take actions that will hurt our economy, and no one wants to do that again,” Kathy Lofy, the state health officer for the Washington Department of Health, said.

The department says if you want to gather for Thanksgiving, you should only do so outside and with no more than five people who are not a part of your household. They also say anyone who participates should wear a mask and social distance. Health officials are also urging people who choose to get together to do a full two-week quarantine before the event.

Doctors have also suggested to think of alternatives to gathering for a meal, like taking a socially distanced walk outside.

The Washington Department of Health says it is constantly evaluating plans for how to stop the pandemic. It says to follow the departments guidelines to try and get numbers under control so that no initiatives have to be rolled back.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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