CDC, NCDHHS advise scaling back Thanksgiving

CDC, NCDHHS advise scaling back Thanksgiving
November 18
14:39 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic seemingly tightening its grip on communities across the country, health experts have advised Americans to forget the traditional gatherings during the holiday season to help turn the tide against the rising number of cases.

At the time of publication there were more than 11 million active cases of infection nationwide and here in N.C. things are worse than ever. There are 315,000 active cases across the state and numbers have been on the rise since September. Over the past two weeks the number of daily positive tests has topped record highs five different times. 

Here in Forsyth County nearly 2,000 people have tested positive for the virus over the past 14 days and there has been reported outbreaks at several schools throughout the district impacting teachers and staff, as well as students. 

In response to the rise in cases across the state, during a press conference on Thursday, Nov. 10, Gov. Roy Cooper extended Phase 3 for three weeks and reduced the limit on indoor gatherings from 25 to 10. Cooper said science has shown us that indoor gatherings increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19, and the Executive Order seeks to limit gatherings that could spread the virus. 

“This reduction in our indoor gathering limit aims to slow the spread and bring down our numbers,” Cooper said. “It also sends a serious signal to families, friends, and neighbors across our state: Success in slowing the spread will help our businesses.” 

With Thanksgiving a week away, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has urged people to avoid activities that risk spreading the virus even more, including the traditional potluck style dinner, shopping, and holiday parades. If you do plan on having dinner guests, the CDC suggests having one person wearing a mask serve all the food, limit the number of people going into the kitchen, and require everyone in attendance to wear a mask when they’re not eating.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), stressed the importance of wearing a mask in public and taking the necessary steps to keep loved ones safe. 

“Let’s keep our friends, family, and loved ones safe this holiday season. If you are going to travel or get together, plan ahead to reduce the risk to your family and friends,” Cohen said. “Remember, it’s not how well you know someone when it comes to wearing a mask. If they don’t live with you, get behind the mask.” 

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) also released health guidelines to help people celebrate the holidays safely. The guidelines can be viewed by visiting

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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