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City of Waco discourages large gatherings for Thanksgiving holiday

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District has urged the community to begin to plan for a COVID-19 safe holiday.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District has urged the community to begin to plan for a COVID-19 safe holiday. It suggested modiying celebrations for Thanksgiving to protect you and your loved ones.

The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to limit your celebration to the people in your immediate household, according to the City of Waco.

Gatherings of any size, with people outside of your home is a high-risk activity. THe city asks that you consider the health and age of the people you are thinking about visiting. Do they have pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes, heart trouble, or lung problems? If so, you may want to skip this year to protect their health. 

The City also suggested considering alternatives to a traditional Thanksgiving. It said you can have a virtual Thanksgiving celebration with friends and family that don’t live with you.

In assessing the risk of travel, consider where you are traveling to, and how prevalent the virus is in that location. The virus is spreading throughout the country. The more time you spend away from your home, the more your risk for catching or spreading the virus increases. Travel is not recommended at this time, according to the Cit of Waco.

As time-honored traditions change during this pandemic, inevitably you and your family or friends will experience strong emotions of loss, change, sadness, and disappointment. Acknowledge these feelings, and if they become persistent to the point that you have trouble functioning, seek help.

The Texans Recovering Together Crisis Counseling Program offers free, short-term crisis counseling by phone or tele-video for individuals, families, and groups living in McLennan, Limestone, Hill, Freestone, Falls, and Bosque counties. To request a counselor to reach out to you, please go to the City of Waco website and look for the “COVID-19 Counseling Request Form” or call 1-866-576-1101 toll-free.

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time when families travel to celebrate together. Although it is difficult to change family traditions, these steps will keep your loved ones safe from COVID-19.

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