Louisiana in third surge of COVID-19, officials warn residents to avoid gatherings for Thanksgiving

Posted at 11:22 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 00:35:26-05

Louisiana is seeing a third surge in COVID-19 cases just as the holidays are about to begin. Doctors say everyone needs to do their part, and that could include changing holiday plans.

For now, the Centers for Disease Control is recommending you avoid traveling; those on the front lines say too much is at stake.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, this third wave is widespread and every hospital in the state is at risk of being overwhelmed unless people work to stop the spread. But this third time around, there is another enemy - COVID fatigue.

In an informal poll on, 87% who answered say they are not traveling home for Thanksgiving this year. Not ideal, but it's in line with guidance from the CDC.

"If you were planning on a Thanksgiving that looks like previous thanksgivings where you bring your extended family and friends around a common dinner table, you are making a mistake," said Governor John Bel Edwards in a press conference Thursday.

Online, many seem opposed. One person says they're planning to have family home without masks.

Interim Assistant Secretary of the Office of Public Health Dr. Joseph Kanter emphasized why that may not be the best idea.

"Risk of transmission is higher when you bring people into your household pod, it's higher when you're indoors, it's higher than larger you're gathering sizes and a tire when you're enjoying food or beverage because your mask is not on at that point in time," explained Dr. Kanter.

Some also worry that being separated from loved ones can affect mental health, but the governor stresses this third wave could be the last.

"If we will avoid crowds, if we will mask up, if we will socially distance, wash your hands, and stay home when we're sick there is every reason to believe that today the next year when we have Thanksgiving we will have much more normalcy," Edwards added.

So far Gov. Edwards has no intention to return to a stay-at-home order, but says he will give updates if changes will be made to the public health emergency.

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