Tulare County Health Officials Urge Residents to Celebrate Thanksgiving Safely

Cases of COVID-19 Continue to Surge in Tulare County and Throughout California.

A Press Release from Tulare County Health and Human Resources

The COVID-19 virus continues to spread at alarming rates throughout Tulare County as local hospitals surge with COVID-19 positive patients needing to be hospitalized for the respiratory illness. Public Health officials urge residents to take necessary actions and advise everyone to stay home this Thanksgiving and celebrate the holiday with only those who live within your immediate household, to protect yourselves and loved ones. COVID-19 continues to pose a risk to the health of our communities and to our most vulnerable populations. Residents need to be aware of high-risk environments for spread of COVID-19 and should avoid such high-risk activities during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Tulare County Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Haught strongly encourages community members to follow the public health guidelines and recommendations regarding not gathering with persons outside your immediate household.

“Many traditional Thanksgiving celebrations and gatherings can be high-risk for spreading the COVID-19 virus,” shared Dr. Haught. “To protect those most vulnerable and manage the surge in our local health care system, we must refrain from participating in gatherings held indoors and not mix with those who live outside our immediate households. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in any in-person Thanksgiving festivities, immediately isolate yourself from others to prevent further transmission of the virus, and make an appointment to get tested.”

Officials strongly encourage everyone to get tested for COVID-19; testing is free and available to anyone. All three community testing locations in Dinuba, Porterville, and Tulare are open Wednesday – Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., with exception these testing sites will be closed on Thursday, November 26 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Appointments for testing can be made by phone at 1-888-634-1123 and online at https://lhi.care/covidtesting. Public health officials encourage those going to get tested for COVID-19 to wear a face mask or facial covering for protection. Celebrate Thanksgiving Safely To reduce COVID-19 cases and deaths in Tulare County, officials urge residents to AVOID these high-risk activities:

  • Thanksgiving gatherings with non-household members held indoors
  • Potlucks, buffets, or other shared food meals
  • Crowds of people and places such as shopping malls, retail stores, parades, running events, and sports
  • Contact with anyone who is sick or may have been exposed to COVID-19 Public Health officials urge residents to use alternative means to celebrate Thanksgiving safely this year, with these lower-risk activities:
  • Celebrate at home and prepare traditional Thanksgiving dishes with those who live in your household
  • Host a virtual Thanksgiving dinner and share recipes with extended family and friends
  • Put up your favorite holiday decorations and share photos online
  • Watch holiday parades, sporting events, and movies at home
  • Perform holiday shopping online instead of in person at stores

The most important thing is to keep your loved ones safe and healthy and to not risk their health by gathering with those outside your own home. COVID-19 cases have been seen to spike in Tulare County following holiday gatherings, so to avoid a spike in cases, public health officials are urging residents to cooperate.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Tulare County, officials strongly urge everyone to practice both social and physical distancing of six feet or more between persons and to refrain from social gatherings. Residents must always wear a face mask or covering while in environments where physical distancing is not possible and while in public settings. In addition, everyone is encouraged to frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer, regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces, and stay home if you are sick or instructed to isolate/quarantine by a medical or public health professional.

For more information about COVID-19, visit www.tchhsa.org/ncov and www.covid19.tularecounty.ca.gov

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