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What Michigan Gov. Whitmer said about celebrating Thanksgiving as COVID-19 cases surge

‘Thanksgiving is going to look different this year,’ Whitmer says

A Thanksgiving meal
A Thanksgiving meal (istock)

LANSING, Mich. – COVID-19 cases are soaring in Michigan as Thanksgiving nears, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spoke about how residents should handle the Thanksgiving and holiday seasons.

Michigan reported a single-day record 6,940 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, along with 45 additional deaths. Overall, the state has reported 236,225 COVID-19 cases and 7,811 deaths.

During her Thursday press briefing, Whitmer talked about how Michiganders should handle the upcoming holiday.

“Thanksgiving is going to look different this year,” Whitmer said. "It just has to. Medical experts across the country strongly recommend that we do not host Thanksgiving with people from outside of our own households.

"I know this will be hard, but we cannot afford for people to head to a family member, friend or loved one’s house for Thanksgiving, contract the virus and bring it back to the communities and their homes.

“The more people we have in our homes -- talking, eating and drinking, hugging, yelling at the Lions -- the higher the risk of catching or spreading this virus, and the higher the risk that the people we love with die.”

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Whitmer said residents should get creative by joining relative in a Zoom call or sending photos of celebrations. She said it’s possible to give thanks together without putting each other in danger.

“The best way to show your loved ones that you care about them this year is to do everything in your power to protect them during this pandemic,” Whitmer said.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical officer of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, reiterated that residents should stay home from the holidays and avoid celebrating with anyone who doesn’t live in their household.

Khaldun discouraged traveling for Thanksgiving or any of the winter holidays, saying even though it’s not legally forbidden, it’s medically discouraged.


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