The NWT’s chief public health officer on Tuesday issued her advice for celebrating Thanksgiving safely during the pandemic.
Dr Kami Kandola urged residents to stay home or cancel their gatherings at the slightest hint of feeling unwell or suffering even minor symptoms that could mean a case of Covid-19.
Nobody self-isolating should be hosting others or attending gatherings, she stressed in a health advisory.
Gathering limits remain in place, meaning a limit of five extra people at your home (to a maximum of 10 in the residence at any one time), 25 people in public indoor spaces like community halls, and up to 50 outdoors. Public spaces require physical distancing and hand-washing measures.
There were no fresh restrictions associated with Thanksgiving. Kandola is expected to issue advice on Halloween on Thursday this week.
Tuesday’s advisory suggested arranging tables and chairs so people from different “cohorts,” or groups used to spending time together, could be seated apart from each other.
Host Thanksgiving at the home with the most space and best ventilation, Kandola said, and use video calls to “keep your physical circle small while staying connected with many.”
If you have guests coming and going, keep a list that can help with contact tracing later if need be, she added.
“Have a designated carver and server to keep sharing food without sharing germs,” the advisory continued, asking residents to avoid sharing glasses or cutlery.
Though the advisory was issued less than a week before Thanksgiving, it included broader advice to “limit who you spend time with two weeks before” a gathering, particularly if people at a higher risk of Covid-19 are attending.
Lastly, Kandola said, guests who have to stay home – for example, if they have symptoms associated with the coronavirus – can always have a doggie bag delivered to their doorstep.