SWEETWATER COUNTY — With Thanksgiving taking place tomorrow, Sweetwater County Public Health Officer Dr. Jean Stachon is encouraging residents to take proper precautions of the holiday weekend to slow the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
According to Stachon, Sweetwater County is currently seeing a positivity rate of about 30 percent and already had 95 more confirmed COVID-19 positive cases before noon today, which is why she’s making a recommendation to families to celebrate with their own households for the holiday.
“Our numbers are staying high,” Stachon said.
Stachon said she knows Sweetwater County families and friends will still gather together even though she recommends families celebrate with their own households.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is also recommending families stay home for Thanksgiving instead of traveling this year to try and slow the spread of COVID-19.
Stachon recognizes the need for families to see each other, and so if they aren’t going to stick with their household family unit for Thanksgiving she has the following suggestions.
- Stay 6 feet away in the house even when eating
- Don’t sit elbow to elbow at the dinner table
- Wear a mask if you cannot maintain 6 feet of social distancing
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds
- If you are feeling sick, stay home
- Stachon suggested spreading out families all over the house when they are eating to prevent the spread of the virus, should someone at the gathering have it. She said a few could eat in the kitchen, dining room and living room.
“I don’t want to be the Grinch that stole Thanksgiving and Christmas,” she said.
However, she’s extremely concerned with the amount of cases being reported in the county daily and knows the county is seeing an impact from Halloween. Most of the spread is through smaller gatherings such as what the community will see over Thanksgiving.
“Be considerate, kind, and thoughtful of each other,” Stachon said.
Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County has seen as many as seven COVID-19 hospitalized patients at one time and currently has five. Stachon said what people don’t realize is those who are hospitalized with COVID-19 aren’t just there for a few days, but a few weeks or even months. It all depends on the patient.
She said the folks at the hospital are working really hard and are tired. What’s done or not done this holiday weekend will have a significant impact on the healthcare system.
“It’s taking its toll on people at the hospital,” Stachon said.
She said a good way to show thanks and appreciation for the healthcare system is by taking the precautions to protect them being overrun.