As Thanksgiving Day is approaching, Ontario public health officials including Premier Doug Ford, are advising all residents of Ontario to be mindful of the gathering limits while hosting Thanksgiving dinners.
Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s associate chief medical officer of health, said Tuesday afternoon that Ontario residents are advised to limit Thanksgiving celebration to those living within one household.
“For Thanksgiving, we are recommending that you limit it this year to your household. If your household is one person, this person can join another household. That is to maintain some mental and social wellbeing for people,” Yaffe said.
“Ten people is the maximum for indoors, but that does not mean you should go to 10. We are hoping people will stay within their household and that is the best thing to do this year for Thanksgiving.”
Although Ford has been under fire for contradicting comments on the number of people his family will have over on Monday, he finally said he will follow rules dictated by top public health officials in Ontario.
Initially, Ford said he would have people over to celebrate Thanksgiving, but that he told his wife they could have no more than 10 people at their home.
Some reporters pressed Ford about the discrepancy of his initial comment about having no more than 10 at his house and what Yaffe said about only celebrating with individuals living in the same household.
Ford then wrote a tweet saying he spoke with his wife Karla and they will follow the same advice as they will stick to their immediate household for Thanksgiving dinner.
“Stick to the immediate families for Thanksgiving dinner. Stick within your household,” Ford said. “Let’s just get through this. The message is clear stay within your household. One person who lives by themselves and has a small social group can go, but just stay within your household.”
The current average of positive COVID-19 cases reported per week is about 615, much lower than average cases of 100 per day early August. On Tuesday, there were 548 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Ontario.
During the news conference at Queens Park, Ford said that the province completed 42,000 tests on Monday, the highest on record after assessment centres have only been open by appointment.
“We see a little bit of the flattening right now but we need get the numbers down,” Ford said. “I see the numbers are slowly flattening, we’re flattening the curve. They are still high but I’ve seen it decline yesterday.”
Yaffe said because COVID-19 is spread person to person, people should always follow public health rules, maintain good hand hygiene, physical distance and wearing a mask when physical distancing outdoors is hard.
“Think about every interaction you have with any other person and minimize interactions with people you don’t know,” Yaffe added.