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WQAD.com

How to safely celebrate Thanksgiving in the Quad Cities

"This is a time for thankfulness. And we want people to be thankful a year from now that we weathered something that is unprecedented in human history..."

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Many people are downsizing their Thanksgiving plans because of coronavirus.

"We are absolutely raging as far as the number of infections," say Janet Hill with the Rock Island County Health Department. "We’re seeing at least a hundred in Rock Island County and Scott County is actually seeing more.”

The Rock Island Health Department says now isn't the time to let your guard down with COVID, even as there's more news about a vaccine. The general public won't see the vaccine for months to come still.

"Try to understand this is a time for thankfulness," Hill says, "and we want people to be thankful a year from now that we weathered something that is unprecedented in human history and they did their part to help stem the pandemic.”

Hill has some tips for safely celebrating Thanksgiving.

  • Only celebrate in-person with the people you live with. Inviting people from outside your household increases the risk of spreading the virus.
  • Open the windows if it's nice enough to get the airflow going. That makes it harder for the virus to spread.
  • Wear masks when you're not eating.
  • Seat people from different households at tables six feet apart.
  • Have one person serve all the food. That way, only one person is touching the serving utensils instead of a bunch of different people.
  • No hugging.
  • Use disposable plates and utensils so nobody has to handle everyone's dirty dishes.

"There’s no way that we’re going to be able to get out of tier three (mitigations) if we continue doing this risky behavior," Hill says. "So we’re going to have to make some hard decisions to not only keep you and your individual family safe but the entire community safe.”