Doctors recommend changes to Thanksgiving festivities to curb COVID-19 spread

Doctors recommend changes to Thanksgiving festivities to curb COVID-19 spread

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The U.S. reported more than 100,000 new cases of COVID-19 for a dozen days in a row, leaving doctors with growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Dr. Kenneth Hamby of Novant Oceanside Family Medicine in Leland urges his patients not to travel for the holiday.

“The CDC is making recommendations that we try to stay within our own household and not to make any unnecessary travel and I do feel that is a good recommendation,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations can be found here.

He said if people insist upon spending the holiday with those who do not share a home with them, they should take plenty of precautions.

“Follow recommendations for social distancing,” he said. “Wear their masks and definitely wash their hands. I think if we are going to gather this year, we should do other things like one single person serves the food and not sharing condiments.”

He would rather see people follow the CDC’s recommendations.

“If we share a household with other family members that we don’t live with, we are at risk and we should protect each other,” he said.

Governor Roy Cooper issued recommendations last week to keep indoor gatherings at 10 people or less.

“We shouldn’t be gathering with people from other parts of the country and we can have a smaller Thanksgiving,” said Dr. Hamby.

In the meantime, Dr. Hamby recommends that everyone get a flu shot.

“We’ve had influenza A here in the clinic and COVID cases that have come through, so we are seeing both,” he said. “The one thing I would tell all my patients is make sure you get that influenza vaccine. It’s very important.”

He also stresses the importance of mask wearing and said research shows masks work to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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