Dr. Christ says her COVID concern level over Thanksgiving is 9 out of 10

Nov 19, 2020, 11:19 AM | Updated: 2:46 pm

(Pixabay Photo)...

(Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona health officials are extremely worried that Thanksgiving gatherings will throw gasoline onto the state’s coronavirus fire.

“We have been significantly concerned about Thanksgiving for a while,” Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Thursday, one week before the holiday.

“I would say my level of concern is at a 9 [on a 1-10 scale].”

Christ said she can understand COVID-19 fatigue and people’s desire to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family. But if they do, she said they should practice the same mitigation measures they take when out and about during the pandemic, such as mask wearing and social distancing.

“What we are seeing is it spreads very easily in households or small household gatherings,” she said.

“People are very good about going to wear the mask when they go pick up takeout from the restaurant, when they’re around strangers, taking it home to have dinner with their friends in what they feel is a safe setting. And it is not.”

She said people with conditions that put them at high risk for complications if they contract COVID-19 – including lung disease, heart disease, obesity and autoimmune disorders — should only spend time with others from their own households.

“If you do expand beyond those that you live with, make sure that you are physically distancing, that you are moving it outdoors, and that you are wearing a mask,” Christ said.

“Even if it is your family or your closest friends, if you don’t live with them, please wear a mask.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday issued a recommendation against any travel during next week’s holiday.

The CDC’s Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz cited more than 1 million new cases in the U.S. over the past week as the reason for the new guidance

“The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with the people in your household,” she said.

On Wednesday, Arizona’s health department issued a Thanksgiving “menu” of health tips:

  • Celebrate outdoors, in your yard or a local park.
  • Minimize the number of guests.
  • Maintain physical distance and don’t touch anybody you don’t live with.
  • Wear masks of you gather with people from outside your household.
  • Consider virtual meetings to bring family and friends together.
  • Do not do self-serve or buffet-style service.
  • Wash hands before and after preparing and serving food and eating.
  • Provide each guest with a travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer.

“These simple steps will help slow the spread and help reduce the risk of increased cases after the holiday,” Christ said during a press conference Wednesday. “We want all Arizonans to stay safe during the holidays.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Group picture of ABOR members....

SuElen Rivera

Amidst UArizona’s financial challenges, Hobbs chastises public university’s governing board

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs on Monday chastised the state's public university governing board for attacking UArizona's faculty instead of addressing its failures and a $177-million deficit.

11 minutes ago

A gloved hand holds a Planatome surgical blade...

Kevin Stone

Planatome, a Phoenix-based surgical blade maker, plans to double size of workforce

Planatome, a Phoenix-based medical device company that makes advanced surgical blades, announced plans to double its workforce.

2 hours ago

Jose “ET” Rivera, owner of Tres Leches Cafe, speaks during a rally against an Arizona immigrati...

Martin Dreyfuss/Cronkite News

Arizona business owners rally against bill requiring E-Verify checks for jobs, benefits

Arizona business owners rallied Monday against an immigration bill they say will drive businesses and workers out of the state.

4 hours ago

Traffic backed up near Quartzsite...

Eastbound I-10 temporarily closed near Arizona-California border due to fiery crash

Eastbound Interstate 10 near the Arizona-California border was temporarily closed after a fiery crash Tuesday morning, authorities said.

5 hours ago

Tiana Hodges mugshot...

Woman arrested in fatal Phoenix apartment complex shooting

A woman was arrested Monday for allegedly fatally shooting a man at an apartment complex in Phoenix, authorities said. 

6 hours ago

Will middle-class Americans be able to afford homes in this economy?...

Valley economist discusses shrinking middle class, housing and inflation

Why is the middle class shrinking? Is the U.S. economy growing? Valley economist Jim Rounds answered these questions on Monday.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.


Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Dr. Christ says her COVID concern level over Thanksgiving is 9 out of 10