With Thanksgiving coming up fast, and COVID-19 numbers still on the rise Governor Gary Hebert gave new recommendations for the holidays.
Under health orders from Governor Gary Herbert masks are required throughout Utah and all social gatherings are restricted to same-households only until Monday.
Herbert said while he will be extending the mask mandate Monday, he will not be extending the restrictions on social gatherings.
“We want you to not only have a happy, but we want you to have a safe holiday season,” Herbert said. “So we're going to make some modifications to our order when it comes to those who can gather in households.”
While Herbert is not extending restrictions on social gatherings, he did give recommendations on how to safely gather for the holidays.
He said longer interactions create greater risks with spreading COVID-19.
“Also the time rather than having an all day affair, maybe should be shorter, the shorter you can do it again, the less risk is involved in that gathering,” he said.
He said eating outside can help limit exposure and larger gatherings are also risky.
“So keep it small with the numbers you gather with over this Thanksgiving holiday weekend,” he said. “If you have people that are sick, they obviously shouldn't come. If they've been exposed to COVID-19, they shouldn't come. If they tested positive, they shouldn't come to the family or friendly gathering that you have here this Thanksgiving time of year.”
Many groups tend to have potluck style celebrations, but this year Herbert said people should limit who’s doing the cooking.
“Those that prepare the food should be just probably - as much as you can - one person preparing and serving the food and that should be done with somebody that has a mask that they're in fact wearing at the time,” he said. “So avoid potluck kinds of dinners, which is I know kind of a normal thing for Thanksgiving. But this is not a normal Thanksgiving time.”
He says as more winter holidays and school vacations approach, officials will begin to lay out programs for students.
You can find more information on how to safely gather this holiday season at coronavirus.utah.gov/holidays.