Health Department offers last minute advice for Thanksgiving

Posted at 10:02 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-26 00:02:57-05

Heading into this holiday weekend, the Health Department has some final advice for those choosing to gather or travel, and also a little motivation for those sacrificing their traditional Thanksgiving this year.

“You know, our servicemen and women who are in the military go without their families at Thanksgiving every single year and it has been going on for decades,” said Incident Commander Cindy Farr. “So it's really important to remember that they sacrifice for us and this is a time that we need to sacrifice for each other. What we want is to know that next year when we come together for Thanksgiving, everyone's at the table.”

If you do choose to gather or travel, there are steps you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy.

“We're recommending that people put some precautions into place,” said Farr. “Use single-use utensils and paper plates, don’t congregate in the food prep area.”

If bringing additional people into your home, utilize your largest space so that everyone can spread out.

“That is how we are going to keep Thanksgiving from turning into the super spreader of all super spreader events," said Farr.

The Health Department’s last plea for caution this weekend is to avoid the potential chaos of Black Friday.

"If you want to really help contribute to Missoula’s local economy, think of small businesses.”

If we still see a spike following Thanksgiving, Farr said her team is ready for the worst case scenario, and they’re already in a constant state of onboarding new staff. They’re also updating their contact tracing system.

“Our case investigators are not going to try to call you multiple times, instead you're going to get a phone call with a voicemail, and it's really important that people call back because we need to move onto the next case,” said Farr.

In the event you leave your Thanksgiving festivities with COVID symptoms, Farr recommends having extra food, a thermometer, and fever reducing medication at your home to sustain you through a two-week quarantine.