The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is with household members only, or virtually with others, Gov. Charlie Baker and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said Tuesday. “The science on this one’s pretty clear — gathering in groups indoors for an extended period of time with family and friends is likely the worst possible scenario for spreading the virus” Baker said.
Pointing to rising COVID-19 case numbers among Massachusetts residents under age 30, Baker again said people should stop hosting parties and other large social gatherings. He urged younger people, who may not experience severe symptoms of the respiratory disease, to think about the relatives they might infect, the health care workers gearing up for a second surge, and the children whose ability to attend in-person school hinges on virus transmission numbers.
Baker said his own Thanksgiving celebration this year will be “immediate family, and that’s it” and said all families should “think long and hard about the well-being of your loved ones before you make your plans.” If people do mark the holiday with friends and family outside their household, Baker said, they should limit guests as much as possible, keeping it “to your limited social network, those that you’ve seen on a pretty regular basis.”
Sudders said people should wear masks while together as they prepare meals, plate each person’s food rather than serving family-style, open doors and windows, and get tested for COVID-19 if they do gather. She said the state is working with testing sites to increase their hours before Thanksgiving. “There’s just no way around it” she said. “The holidays need to look and feel very different this year.”