Story at a glance

  • Public health officials worry Thanksgiving could accelerate the pandemic in the U.S. as people gather with friends and family across the country.
  • The CDC is advising not to gather for Thanksgiving with people outside their own household.
  • Whitmer said following such guidance is needed to avoid the overwhelmed hospitals and death counts the state experienced in the spring.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is urging residents in her state not to gather with family outside their own household on Thanksgiving to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

“Last week, our state health department director issued an epidemic order that limits indoor gatherings where COVID-19 can easily spread from person to person. These steps are what the public health experts say we need to take to avoid overwhelmed hospitals and death counts like we saw in the spring,” Whitmer said in a video released Tuesday.


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“If you are planning to spend Thanksgiving with people outside of your own household, I urge you to reconsider,” she said. “This year, I’m going to host a Zoom call with my family so we can still talk about the things we are thankful for, in lieu of hosting an in-person dinner like I usually do.” 

Whitmer asked Michiganders to picture the faces of those they spent last Thanksgiving with and imagine how hard it would be if “their chairs are empty next year.” 

Michigan has reported 340,964 cases and 8,940 deaths, according to The Covid Tracking Project.

Public health officials worry Thanksgiving could accelerate the pandemic in the U.S. as people gather with friends and family across the country. 

As the U.S. has seen record-breaking coronavirus cases and hospitalizations over the past several weeks, the CDC issued guidance recommending people avoid traveling to see friends and family for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

The health agency says the holiday should be spent only with people living in the same household for at least 14 days and celebrations should be held outdoors if possible.


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Published on Nov 24, 2020