Health officials at Appalachian Regional Healthcare urge people to follow CDC guidelines during Thanksgiving

Infectious disease experts with Appalachian Regional Healthcare warn against traveling and large gatherings.
Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 7:48 PM EST
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PERRY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - In a normal year, family and friends gather in large groups to celebrate Thanksgiving the traditional way. This year, however, health experts at Appalachian Regional Healthcare are urging people to avoid large gatherings and traveling if possible.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Fares Khater says that the safest way to enjoy the holiday is from the safety of your home.

“The safest way to a place, to celebrate Thanksgiving is with the people who you live with,” Khater said. “That is the safest place to celebrate Thanksgiving.”

Khater also advises against traveling, particularly to see those who could be at high risk of developing the disease while recommending that people remain updated on hospitals in their respective areas.

“You also want to know if hospitals where you are or where you are going, are at full capacity,” Khater said. “Because you want to be sure if you’re sick, there’s a place for you.”

Kentucky River District Public Health Director Scott Lockard echoed that, as he is now in quarantine following his daughter’s positive COVID-19 test.

“This is just a great lesson for me as your public health director,” Lockard told the Hazard-Perry County Chamber of Commerce. “This impacts us all, so we all need to do our part to make sure that we’re safeguarding our neighbors and friends.”

Khater went on to say that if you do plan on traveling or seeing family during the holiday, that getting tested beforehand would be the best way to keep both you and your family safe.

“If that capacity is available, to have testing done before you’re gathering with family, three to four days, that is very, very highly recommended,” Khater said. “At least if you are sitting with people that you haven’t seen for a while or friends that you don’t live with.”

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