Cape Cod Reopening Task Force Outlines a Safe Thanksgiving

Cape and Islands State Senator and Task Force member Julian Cyr.

HYANNIS – Cape Cod Reopening Task Force members recently outlined how to make the Thanksgiving holiday as safe as possible during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know that circumstances where we let our guard down is when we’re in close contact with people, particularly the people ewe know and love most. We know that those close contacts, particularly in a private home, are the most efficient conditions for the virus to spread,” said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) at the most recent task force meeting.

Cyr said that as travel increases nation-wide, as does the chances of contracting the virus. 

He said that residents must not let their guard down and maintain safety precautions even during the holiday, including social distancing and mask-wearing.

“I get that sustained distancing has its toll, especially from an emotional and psychological perspective, but sustained distancing now is really crucial,” said Cyr.

Cyr stressed the importance of following the 10-person indoor gathering limit, producing a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of arrival in Massachusetts and other orders and guidelines from Governor Charlie Baker.

Returning college students are also asked to get tested prior to leaving college campuses, especially if they are returning home from out of state.

Cyr urged Cape Cod residents not to travel at all, and instead celebrate the holiday with those they already live with or in a digital way.

At a task force meeting earlier this month, Vaira Harik of the Barnstable County Department of Human Services said Thanksgiving should only be spent with immediate family members that already share a home.

“The public health realities of infection control are what caused the Governor to make that recommendation,” said Harik.

Wendy Northcross with the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce said that they have compiled a list of local restaurants that are offering to-go Thanksgiving dinners so that people can have a festive dinner that is still relatively safe. 

Northcross said that business and school environments are doing well in slowing the spread of COVID-19, but residents at home cannot become complacent with safety protocols when in private residences with those they are familiar with.  

Cyr said that if residents do not use safe practices during the holiday season, December could see a significant increase in the spread of COVID-19.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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