Milwaukee County health officials urge Thanksgiving caution

With Thanksgiving Day two weeks away, Milwaukee County health officials on Thursday, Nov. 12 urged people to practice safety measures.

Leaders urged everyone, especially college students who may be returning home, to take COVID-19 precautions seriously ahead of the holiday. 

"Now is the time to buckle down, time to quarantine and to work to keep our loved ones safe," said Dr. Ben Weston with the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management. "We want to make sure that everyone who could sit around the Thanksgiving table this year will be able to also sit around it next year."

While each family will have to make their own plans, local health officials have reminders on how to minimize the spread of the virus.

"You can certainly take the next two weeks before returning back home to avoid social gatherings, avoid interacting with those who you don’t live with avoid restaurants avoid bars and minimize trips," Weston said.

Health officials suggest that students traveling home for the holiday should consider driving alone. Getting tested for COVID-19 a few days before returning to loved ones may offer another layer of protection, possibly catching young people who are asymptomatic.

With cases in Wisconsin already on the rise, Milwaukee officials fear that holiday gatherings will worsen the situation and remind Wisconsinites that the virus can spread in small gatherings, too.

"The last thing that any student wants to do is unknowingly bring the disease to their family or loved ones," said Weston.

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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett called for a special session from the Wisconsin Legislature to decide what steps are needed for Wisconsin to contain the virus.

Particularly, Barrett touched on mask requirements or a potential stay-at-home order.

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