By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Reno County Interim Health Officer Karen Hammersmith reiterated the message calling for no large gatherings for the Thanksgiving holiday.
"Thanksgiving this year really should look different," Hammersmith said. "When we talk about keeping in small cohorts, it is because we always know that in times like this, holidays, people travel. They want to be with their family. You know, you have the sniffles or something. You don't feel too bad. This year, that could be COVID."
After the holidays is usually a problem even with less contagious illnesses like the flu.
Most viruses, whether it be cold or flu season, it's the weeks after Thanksgiving and Christmas that really spike things up and turn things around," Hammersmith said. "Not in a good way."
If you are sick, stay at home.
"Anytime that you have family gatherings, it's a very close situation, very personal," Hammersmith said. "People are generally speaking, hugging, sitting in the same room for many hours. You feel very comfortable and safe in family and close friends enviroments. It doesn't mean that the family and friends are not safe people. It's just that right now, anybody could be carrying the virus."
The 14-day positive test rate used by the schools for their gating criteria is at 46.5%, which is the highest it has been throughout the pandemic.