Home » Governor, health officials urge Kentuckians to celebrate Thanksgiving safely

Governor, health officials urge Kentuckians to celebrate Thanksgiving safely

Families should wear face coverings and avoid crowded indoor gatherings, events, stores

FRANKFORT, Ky.  – Kentucky families should make safe choices this Thanksgiving, especially in light of the newest federal report for the commonwealth that emphasizes the risks of gathering with people from other households, Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday.

Kentucky currently ranks sixth in the country for daily COVID-19 tests per million residents, according to Kaiser Health News.

Top counties with the most positive cases on Tuesday are: Jefferson, Fayette, Warren, Hardin, Madison and Laurel.

More than 2,000 additional cases were announced Tuesday.

“Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times during the year. It is a special time for my family which is normally spent with a lot of extended family,” said Gov. Beshear. “But this year those larger gatherings can be very dangerous. We are seeing COVID-19 spread and the resulting loss happening more at family and social gatherings than anywhere else right now. This, right now, is the most dangerous time we’ve had with this virus.”

Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving earlier in the fall (the second Monday of October) and both provincial and federal officials have pointed to the holiday as one cause for a recent spike in COVID-19 cases across their country.

“As you make your plans for the holidays, I urge you, please – 2020 has been a mess for all of us – but we’ve got to hang in there just a little bit longer,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH). “We are very optimistic in the first signs for the first vaccine to report information from its major trial. It suggests that our scientists have been able to figure out ways to get us back to life more like we used to know it, but we have to stay the course this Thanksgiving.”

Community leaders, schools, businesses and families in red zone counties should continue to follow reduction recommendations (school-specific recommendations here). Kentuckians should also follow KDPH’s Thanksgiving guidance, which includes:

  • Avoid in-person gatherings with people who do not live in your household.
  • Always wear a face covering or mask when you are not eating or drinking.
  • Maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet.
  • Avoid large gatherings, especially those held indoors.
  • Do not host or attend crowded parades.
  • Avoid shopping in crowded stores before, on or after Thanksgiving.

Kentuckians can choose creative, safer ways to celebrate, including:

  • Shopping online and/or at less crowded small businesses.
  • Enjoying hiking, hunting or other outdoor activities during the holiday weekend.
  • Supporting fellow Kentuckians by buying Kentucky Proud ingredients or ordering take-out from local restaurants for a Thanksgiving meal with their household.
  • Hosting a virtual dinner where they can share recipes with extended family and friends and spend time together remotely. Consider these conversation starters from Real Simple.

To learn more, see KDPH’s full guidance, one-pager and guidance slide.

Case information

As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

  • New cases today: 2,120
  • New deaths today: 14
  • Positivity rate: 7.68%
  • Total deaths: 1,590
  • Currently hospitalized: 1,189
  • Currently in ICU: 286
  • Currently on ventilator: 139

Top counties with the most positive cases on Tuesday are: Jefferson, Fayette, Warren, Hardin, Madison and Laurel.

The red zone counties for this week can be found here.

Those reported lost to the virus today include an 80-year-old woman and a 69-year-old man from Bracken County; an 84-year-old man from Bullitt County; a 91-year-old woman from Daviess County; an 86-year-old man from Hopkins County; five men, ages 76, 84, 86, 87 and 89, from Jessamine County; an 87-year-old man from Marshall County; a 92-year-old woman from McLean County; a 68-year-old man from Muhlenberg County; and a 76-year-old man from Shelby County.

All five men from Jessamine County were residents at Thomson-Hood Veterans Center.

KDPH recommends a 14-day self-quarantine for travelers who are returning from any of these states reporting a COVID-19 test positivity rate of 15% or higher: South Dakota (53.97%), Iowa (48.29%), Kansas (41.27%), Idaho (38.64%), Wyoming (34.50%), Missouri (20.97%), Alabama (19.77%), Montana (18.14%), Utah (17.98%), North Dakota (16.11%), Pennsylvania (15.99%) and Wisconsin (15.39%).

More information

To view the full daily report, incidence rate map, testing locations, long term-care and other congregate facilities update, school reports, the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and other key guidance visit, kycovid19.ky.gov.