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State health department in Colorado asks everyone to cancel gatherings, including Thanksgiving in open letter to residents

Photo courtesy: MGN
Photo courtesy: MGN(KKTV)
Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 3:31 PM MST
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DENVER (KKTV) - As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the health department for the state of Colorado shared an open letter with residents asking them to cancel Thanksgiving gatherings.

The request is a big one for many people who haven’t seen loved ones for months and even years. The governor has been asking the same of the public for weeks. The mayor of Colorado Springs visited Memorial Hospital Central in Colorado Springs on Wednesday and posted the following to Twitter, “Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I urge all our residents to gather in a way that is as safe as possible. Please do your part to change this situation. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem, and help our community overcome this challenge.”

Click here to read the latest COVID-19 data for the state.

Click here to read the latest data for El Paso County, where hospitals were “strained” as of Wednesday.

The letter can be read below:

Dear Coloradans,

It has been a difficult year for us all. For nine months, we’ve been navigating the challenges of living through a pandemic that has affected nearly all aspects of our lives, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the physical, emotional, and financial impacts. But we believe Coloradans can get through it -- together.

Throughout 2020, as cases increased, so did the number of frontline workers and family members willing to step up and care for those with the virus; as businesses shut down and Coloradans lost jobs, community organizations and social service programs showed up to assist; as stress and strife rose, mental health professionals and resources did too. From the beginning, we have risen to the challenge, and your strength and resiliency has saved lives. Now, as cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in our state increase, we must all continue to be resilient and protect our family, friends, and communities.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but there is more hard work to do before we reach it.

This year, we have seen cases surge after most major holidays. There were spikes in cases after the 4th of July, Labor Day, and Halloween. We all want to spend this holiday season with loved ones. Still, caution dictates we should celebrate Thanksgiving in person with only our households and virtually with people from other households. Carve out time to share what you’re grateful for, and remind each other why we follow these guidelines and sacrifice things we love, no matter how big or small.

We are calling on all Coloradans to:

  • Cancel gatherings, including Thanksgiving, with people who don’t live with you.
  • Wear a mask when you must go out.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others.

What we do in the coming days and weeks could save our lives and the lives of others. This is not an exaggeration and we are thankful in advance for your consideration of each other this holiday season.

It will not be easy, and it will test us. But Coloradans are strong, smart, and supportive. We look out for each other and take care of those who need help. We can do this -- together.

Sincerely,

Your friends, neighbors, relatives, and fellow Coloradans who work at the CDPHE

P.S. Turkey and stuffing should be cooked thoroughly and separately to 165 F and ham to 145 F or above before serving. Recipes requiring eggs must be cooked thoroughly to 145 F or above. If egg dishes do not require cooking, such as homemade eggnog or salad dressing, use pasteurized egg products instead of shelled eggs.