Kentucky reveals COVID guidance for Thanksgiving

Gov. Beshear provides Tuesday update on COVID-19 in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Kentucky released its COVID-19 guidance for Thanksgiving Tuesday, including the recommendation that people avoid in-person gatherings with those who do not live in their household.

The guidance also recommends against shopping in crowded stores on Black Friday.

If followed, the recommendations will make for a different Thanksgiving than in years past, but both Gov. Andy Beshear and Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack, MD, argued they’re necessary to avoid “turbocharging” the virus — a word Stack used Monday.

“Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times during the year. It is a special time for my family which is normally spent with a lot of extended family,” said Beshear. “But this year those larger gatherings can be very dangerous. We are seeing COVID-19 spread and the resulting loss happening more at family and social gatherings than anywhere else right now. This, right now, is the most dangerous time we’ve had with this virus.”

See Kentucky Department for Public Health’s full guidance and one-page.

The guidance contains the following recommendations (bold in the original:)

  • Avoid in-person gatherings with people who do not live in your household;
  • Always wear a face covering or mask;
  • Maintain social distance of at least 6 ft. or more;
  • Avoid large gatherings, especially those held indoors;
  • Do not host or attend crowded parades; and
  • Avoid shopping in crowded stores before, on or after Thanksgiving.

Kentuckians are urged to choose creative alternatives for celebrating Thanksgiving and Black Friday, including (reproduced in full from KDPH:)

  • Shopping online and/or at less crowded small businesses;
  • Enjoying hiking, hunting or other outdoor activities during the holiday weekend;
  • Supporting fellow Kentuckians by buying Kentucky Proud ingredients or ordering take-out from local restaurants for a Thanksgiving meal with their household; and
  • Hosting a virtual dinner where they can share recipes with extended family and friends and spend time together remotely. Consider these conversation starters from Real Simple.

Kentucky’s Tuesday case report contained 2,120 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, 14 new deaths and a 7.68 positivity rate.

Some 1,189 Kentuckians are hospitalized with COVID-19, the report says, and 286 are in ICUs across the state.

The case count is Kentucky’s highest-ever for a Tuesday, setting the state up for another record-breaking week of cases after the state set similar records six of the past seven weeks.

“This thing is spreading, it’s spreading fast,” Beshear said prior to unveiling the Thanksgiving guidance. “We need your help.”

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