BELL COUNTY, Texas – With COVID-19 numbers being where they are, Thanksgiving will definitely look different this year.
“We absolutely have been concerned about the holidays coming up and COVID-19. It’s something we’ve had on our radar for a little while,” says Amanda Robison-Chadwell, the Bell County Public Health District Director.
The county is seeing a significant increase in Coronavirus cases already.
“We saw a spike post-Halloween. About nine days after Halloween, we saw a 124-case spike. We realized this could be really bad if people aren’t careful,” says Robinson-Chadwell.
Officials are raising the county’s risk to Level 2.
“In cooperation with hospitals, we decided to move the threat level. Because while they are managing, they are seeing more COVID patients coming into the hospital,” says Robinson-Chadwell.
Officials are worried Thanksgiving will bring even more cases to the area, and they are asking everyone to limit family gatherings and travel this holiday season.
“We’re trying to really encourage people to do is keep celebrations within households that are together 24/7. If you’re going to have COVID in your household, it’s going to move through your whole household. You have enough people who are asymptomatic, who don’t realize they’re sick, that’s going to transmit to someone who will get really sick. And we would hate to see people’s Thanksgiving holiday marred by COVID hospitalizations and death,” says Robinson-Chadwell.
If you do decide to take the risk and travel, there are some things you can do to protect yourself.
“Take every possible precaution. Wear your masks, keep your hands washed, distance as much as possible, and follow very religiously to those precautions to prevent COVID. It’s not going to be 100 percent effective, but it’s better than nothing,” says Robinson-Chadwell.