Medical experts share tips for a safe Thanksgiving, families prepare to host loved ones safely

Published: Nov. 22, 2020 at 1:36 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Thanksgiving is the time of year where we look forward to spending time with our family.

However, the holidays will look different this year, because of the pandemic. So, medical professionals are sharing suggestions of precautions you can to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

One Greenville family is safely hosting their loved ones next week. And Vidant Health experts have some ways to have a safe Turkey Day.

Lacie Boudreau has already started her food list.

“We have definitely started grocery shopping. We’ve got all of our Thanksgiving decorations out,” Boudreau said.

The Boudreau household is like many households in the East.

“We just really believe family is the best way to go; through prayer, gathering. And I think that’s really going to lift everyone’s spirit,” Boudreau said.

Boudreau says life is too short to miss out on the memories.

“We do have a large family, mixed southern/Italian, and then, from New York. So, we’re probably going to have close to ten or 12 people,” she said.

Vidant’s infectious disease director Ryan Gallaher is just hoping there won’t be another surge of COVID-19 or the flu.

“What we hope to not see is the flu and COVID combination, right?” Gallaher said, “It just makes sense that, if you can prevent one virus, to go ahead and do that.”

Boudreau says she is taking precautions.

“We will be taking people’s temperatures,” Boudreau said, “We’ll be seated apart, but we also have air purification systems.”

Their family owns an air purification company, which she says can disinfect her surfaces and kill viruses.

Still, she says there won’t be any masks, which infectious disease medical director Ryan Gallaher strongly recommends wearing.

“Wash your hands, watch your distance, wear your mask, and I like to anecdotally add another, which is, while outside if possible,” said Gallaher.

And Vidant Health Allied Health Services Vice President Dave Harlow says folks are getting tested, as they’ve seen a spike in interest.

“We’ve seen two days that we’ve seen over 400 people a day,” Harlow said.

Vidant professionals say be sure to get yours no more than a few days before, just to be safe, and eat outside or crack a window.

“We feel very confident that... everyone that will be stepping in will be safely covered,” Boudreau said.

Vidant is hosting a drive-thru testing site every weekday from seven in the morning until seven in the evening. You don’t have to pay any out-of-pocket costs, but if you have insurance, please bring proof with you.

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