Many Kitsap residents chose to celebrate Thanksgiving holiday with members of their household, helping to reduce the potential for COVID-19 spreading between families. However, in the weeks following the holiday, Kitsap Public Health District’s COVID-19 team identified many COVID-19 cases and contacts linked to Thanksgiving gatherings. These exposures contributed to the record-high case counts reported in early December. A few examples included:
- A dinner host welcomed five other households to a gathering that resulted in at least nine associated cases of COVID-19.
- A Kitsap resident who was likely infected with COVID-19 at a local dining establishment took a flight to visit grandparents in another state. The person became symptomatic during the visit, exposing both grandparents and other family members.
- A Kitsap resident who was exposed to COVID-19 at a family Thanksgiving gathering later exposed their partner and their partner’s parents at a separate gathering. All became cases.
With more winter holidays ahead, it is important to know that COVID-19 is spreading widely in our community. Traditional holiday gatherings are not safe at this time. Take simple steps to avoid high-risk situations and protect the health of your loved ones:
- Celebrating at home with your household is the safest option. Remember statewide restrictions on indoor, multi-household gatherings are in effect through at least Jan. 4.
- If you feel at all sick, stay home, avoid contact with others, and get tested as soon as possible
- Connect with friends and family online or by phone is safest. If you visit with others, gather outdoors with masks and plenty of distance.
Story by Kitsap Public Health District