Experts provide advice on how to have a safe holiday amid a pandemic

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INDIANAPOLIS — With the growing number of coronavirus cases in Indiana, many families are starting to question their annual holiday plans.

Six weeks until Thanksgiving and families are making plans to go together at the dinner table.

However, recent coronavirus numbers mean it may be better to scale back the annual traditions.

“So you have to weigh that risk of the desire to do something you always do to make you feel normal in the middle of a pandemic to get together, versus what’s the risk at catching it and what’s the risk of transmitting it to other people,” said Ascension St. Vincent Infection Prevention Medical Director, Dr. Christopher Belcher.  

Medical experts say the virus is known to spread easily indoors. It’s concerning in the Midwest as it begins to get cooler outside causing people to gather due to fewer restrictions, and upcoming holidays.

Dr. Christopher Belcher with Ascension St. Vincent in Indianapolis says it’s not just about the location of the gathering but also who will be attending the event.

“So if you have the elderly, if you have these extended family members who have medical problems all getting together it can be a very bad situation. And there are certainly lots of family outbreaks that happen,” said Dr. Belcher.

Some alternative recommendations include virtual dinners or pandemic pods.

That’s where you’d meet with a small group, agree to restrictions, and limit social interactions to one another leading up to the event.

Still doctors recommend you wear masks, wash your hands, practice social distancing, but that’s not all.

“If you’re getting together in person about two weeks before Thanksgiving you may want to go into your own lockdown, said Dr. Belcher.

Experts also recommend getting your flu shot before the holidays. They say that can prevent confusion and chaos if you begin to feel sick before your gathering.

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