EASTERN ONTARIO — Celebrate Thanksgiving exclusively with individuals from your own household this year.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) “strongly recommends” that key imposition on the impending festivities, under a reminder “to keep public measures in mind” this long weekend “in light of the increasing COVID-19 cases in the region and across the province.”
Residents of the EOHU jurisdiction are similarly asked to avoid travelling outside the area and to avoid hosting people from other areas as well.
The message of sticking to one’s household parallels the advice of Premier Doug Ford earlier in the week. Singles may attend another household’s gathering as part of that advice.
Below, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis dispenses his Thanksgiving advice during his media briefing, today, Oct. 8.
“I recognize that Thanksgiving is about spending time with family and friends, but celebrating the holiday as we usually do could result in an alarming spike in cases,” says Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU. “I recommend people connect with loved ones from outside their household in different ways this year.”
The EOHU says there are safe alternatives to the traditional Thanksgiving gathering. “While Thanksgiving should be celebrated differently this year, it doesn’t mean it’s cancelled!” the local health authority insists in a press release issued today that suggests the option of virtually hosting guests over video chat services.
But if forging ahead and hosting family and friends from outside your household, do so outside, it also suggests. Also, don’t share food or drinks buffet-style, don’t host a gathering if you’re sick or awaiting COVID-19 results or are a close contact of someone infected, and ensure that’s true of anyone else taking part in the gathering. Maintain two metres of physical distance, wear masks and wash hands “often.”
“Precautions should be taken” to protect any vulnerable individuals who do turn up for turkey — those over 70 or those with underlying medical conditions — adds the EOHU, again highlighting the need for masks and physical distancing in those instances.
Under provincial law, an absolute limit of 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors also applies to private gatherings, subject to potential heavy fines.