Experts: Avoid gatherings and opt for virtual get-togethers this Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving a week away, residents urged to rethink holiday plans

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Health officials are urging families to rethink their holiday plans and avoid gathering with those outside your immediate household.

With the holiday just a week away, it’s looking unlikely that Oahu would move into Tier 3 prior to Thanksgiving. Under that tier, social gatherings can have up to 10 people.

Right now, Oahu is in Tier 2 and gatherings of up to five people are allowed.

Health experts are asking residents not to hold big gatherings and opt instead for celebrations with household members or virtual get-togethers.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell also expressed concern that Oahu could move back to Tier 1 ― with the strongest restrictions ― if gatherings over the holidays trigger a spike in new infections.

“I’m concerned as we go into Thanksgiving and Christmas, we could see the cases go up and all we need is two weeks (two seven-day averages of two weeks) over one hundred and we immediately snap back to Tier one, so gyms close, dining is only with your family ... and we go back,” Caldwell said.

“I don’t want to go back and I believe we can go forward but it just requires and acting against our own human nature of wanting to come together.”

The city encourages virtual gatherings on platforms like Zoom or Facetime and that if people do gather in groups of five or fewer, take advantage of the city’s surge testing program and see to it that you test yourself and ask others to do the same.

To ensure an added level of safety, consider dining outdoors and maintain physical distance from those outside your immediate household.

You can find more suggestions and guidelines for a safe Thanksgiving Day celebration online.

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