Thanksgiving's not here just yet. And if you're planning to take part in a large gathering, it's not too late to change your mind.
That's the message Illinois' Department of Public Health Director, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, shared Monday as she and Gov. J.B. Pritzker voiced concerns about the possibility of an uptick in coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations stemming from large gatherings this Thanksgiving.
"We don’t have to have 'super spreader' events at homes throughout our state and throughout the country and bring it back," Ezike said. "Please reconsider your plans and be part of the solution to decrease infections, instead of part of the plan to increase them."
Illinois saw some good news in its fight against the pandemic Monday as nearly every one of the state's health care regions reported a decrease in positivity rates.
State officials also reported 8,322 confirmed and probable coronavirus cases, along with 47 additional deaths attributed to the virus.
Illinois continues to see large numbers of hospitalizations related to the virus, a trend that will likely continue even if case numbers begin to decline slightly.
Ahead of Thanksgiving, Pritzker said state leaders are doing "everything we can to limit the spread with mitigations" and working with hospitals to determine whatever they need in the event of an uptick in cases.
In line with recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people are advised to celebrate virtually or only with members of their own household. For those who want to visit with other family members or friends, it's recommended you quarantine for 14 days prior to a gathering.
“Let's lessen the burden on all of our hospital teams, and we can do this by not spreading infection over this Thanksgiving holiday by wearing our mask, by watching our distance, by washing our hands and by getting our flu shots,” Ezike said.