How to have a safe Thanksgiving during a pandemic

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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — The holidays are fast approaching and many are asking how to remain safe as COVID-19 infections surge nationwide.

Health officials across the state are urging residents to consider how the coronavirus is spread, especially while indoors. The United States Center for Disease Control has stated that shopping in crowded stores, attending large parties, participating in a crowded races are all high risk activities.

The CDC recommends the following in consideration of the current pandemic for Thanksgiving:

Holiday feast:

  • Avoid large gatherings with people outside your households
  • Have a smaller dinner with immediate family members
  • Host a virtual dinner with friends and family who live outside your home

Pass the potatoes. Can’t pass up traditional family dishes?

  • Share your favorite dishes with earby loved ones and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 by preparing them ahead of time, and delivering them without direct contact

Shopping extravaganza:

  • Avoid crowded shopping days such as Black Friday, weekend busy hours or the days leading up to holidays
  • Savor the holiday deals online as many chains have started their Black Friday celebrations

Catching the train? If traveling:

  • Wear a mask in public settings
  • Social distance from anyone not in your households
  • Wash hands often
  • Avoid touching face mask, eyes, nose and mouth

Staying with friends or family:

  • Launder clothing and mask and stow luggage away from common areas
  • Wash hands with soap and water upon arrival
  • Wear masks while inside the house
  • Open windows and doors to improve air circulation
  • Do not let pets interact with people outside the household
  • Monitor all for COVID-19 symptoms

The Red Cross also recommends all to have a plan in place if someone who visits during the holidays does become infected with COVID-19. This includes quarantining, staying in touch with doctor and monitoring symptoms.

Jefferson County Board of Legislators Chairman Scott Gray also shared recommendations North Country residents should take in preparation for the holiday season and as COVID-19 cases surge. Gray strongly urged North Country residents to avoid gatherings this holiday season.

Watch his full interview below:

Although additional safety precautions are recommended due to the virus. Many annual risks, such as fire hazards should be considered as well. A National Red Cross survey determined that cooking is the top cause of home fires nationwide.

The American Red Cross urges the following to stay safe while cooking your traditional holiday foods.

  • Never leave cooking food unattended
  • Move items that burn away from the stovetop. This includes dishtowels, bags and boxes
  • Keep children and pets a minimum of three feet away from the stove
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing while cooking
  • If frying food, turn the burner off if you see smoke or grease starts to boil
  • Keep a pan lid or cookie sheet nearby to cover a pa if it catches on fire
  • Turn pot handles to the back of the stove
  • Use a timer

More COVID-19 and cooking safety tips can be found on the American Red Cross and Centers for Disease Control Prevention website.

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