Columbus health commissioner warns of post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 surge


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Health officials are concerned about the number of travelers they are seeing ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

“The number of people who are saying ‘I heard the warnings, I understand the risk, but I still want to go see my family,’ that’s really concerning,” said Dr. Mysheika Roberts, the Columbus Public Health commissioner.

Thanksgiving is approaching on the heels of the CPH district, which includes Columbus and Worthington, reporting a record high in daily COVID-19 cases five times in two weeks.

The highest daily count was reported on Sunday with 811 new cases.

“I have told my staff and I have told myself, this is not the worst of it,” Roberts said. “It’s going to get worse than it is today before it gets better.”

Roberts explained that she expects to start seeing the impact of Thanksgiving travel and gatherings on the spread of the virus within the next seven to ten days.

She is also urging everyone who does travel or gather with those not in their household to self-quarantine upon returning home.

“Give yourself 14 days after Thanksgiving travel or celebrations to see if you develop symptoms before you start to engage with other people in the community,” she said.

Roberts is hoping that anyone thinking about traveling or gathering for Thanksgiving chooses against doing so.

“If you’re on the fence and you’re contemplating what you should do for Thanksgiving, I’d like you to think about — is this Thanksgiving worth it to go visit your family or your friends with the potential that somebody in that household, someone in that celebration, could be in the intensive care unit by Christmas?” she asked. “Is it worth it?”

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