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Baker: Families Should 'Think Long And Hard' About Holiday Plans And Skip Gatherings

BOSTON (CBS) – With coronavirus cases rising in Massachusetts, state health officials asked families not to host large gatherings during the upcoming holidays.

"The holidays have to look and feel different this year if we are going to keep up the fight against COVID," Gov. Charlie Baker said on Tuesday.

Read: Massachusetts Tips For Safe Thanksgiving

Health and Human Services Sec. Marylou Sudders urged people not to gather for Thanksgiving this year.

If families still choose to celebrate with an in-person Thanksgiving, Sudders asked them to limit guests and keep gatherings small.

"Define your bubble," Sudders said.

Sudders said anyone holding a Thanksgiving gathering limit should wear masks indoors, limit time spent together to a shorter time frame, open doors and windows, don't share food, limit who you are with after, and get tested.


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Health officials also suggested having no more than two masked people preparing food and plates in the kitchen, and bringing plates to the table.

About college students, Sudders said it's OK to let them come home as long as they observe travel restrictions from certain parts of the country with regard to quarantining and testing.

"The science is clear. Gathering in groups, packed inside with family and friends coming and going, is likely the worst possible scenario for spreading the virus," Sudders said.

The governor said his own Thanksgiving dinner will be different than past years to keep his friends and family safe.

"Every family here in the Commonwealth needs to think long and hard about the well-being of your loved ones before you make plans," said Baker. "COVID won't take a vacation and certainly won't respect the holiday."

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