Franklin Co. Health Commissioner urges coronavirus guidelines during holidays

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Thanksgiving is less than two months away, and the Centers for Disease Control is sharing new guidelines for celebrating the holiday safely.

This comes as many parents are eager to have a moment of normalcy with the holidays, but still considering the safety concerns surrounding Halloween.

Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts said it is more important now than ever to be diligent with safety measures this holiday season.

“Part of the reason our numbers are so good here in Columbus and Franklin County is because of the excellent work of everyone living here who’s been doing the right thing,” she said.

The right thing, according to Roberts, includes wearing a mask, washing hands, and practicing social distancing while picking out costumes to celebrate Halloween.

“And even though it’s a holiday, we cannot let our foot off the gas. We have to do everything we can to protect ourselves as well as our loved ones,” Roberts added.

For many, visiting loved ones over the Thanksgiving holiday is a family tradition. However, the CDC says staying home is best this year. The agency advises if you do gather, having a small dinner is considered “low-risk.”

“The ten-person limit should still be practiced, and if at all possible, really keep it to those in your household,” Roberts said.

The CDC also says shopping in crowded stores on or after Thanksgiving is considered a “higher-risk” activity.

“Avoid large crowds, and if you go into a Black Friday sale, chances are there are going to be a lot of people there,” Roberts said.

She suggests taking advantage of on-line shopping sales this holiday season.

The City of Westerville plans to follow the Franklin County Public Health recommendations this Halloween to assure parents it is safe to allow children to go trick-or-treating.

“Thursday, October 29th, from 6-8, most communities in central Ohio will be recognizing beggars night,” said Christa Dickey, the Community Affairs Director for the City of Westerville. “What we want to emphasize is that parents and guardians should really make that decision for their families.”

Whether it is wearing a face mask underneath a costume mask or keeping safe distance, Roberts said safety needs to be at the forefront of all Halloween and Thanksgiving plans this year.

“That’s really going to be the key for this holiday season. The fewer in-person, the better it will be for all,” Roberts said.

Coronavirus in Ohio resources:

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