thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving-related spike in Canada serves as warning


  • Weeks after Canada’s Oct.12 Thanksgiving celebrations, the country started experiencing a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.
  • The increase happened despite the closing of indoor dining and movie theaters during the holidays.
  • US health officials are now discouraging travel and urging everyone to scale gatherings down to fewer than 10 people.

Holidays have traditionally meant to be time with family, but this year’s celebrations may have to be put off — especially considering the news that Canada experienced a post-Thanksgiving spike in coronavirus cases.

Canada celebrated their Thanksgiving on Oct. 12. Two weeks later, a Time analysis of Johns Hopkins University data reported that the country’s seven-day average of positive tests increased from 2,376 to 2,823. This number then skyrocketed to 4,401 by Nov. 10.

The country’s COVID-19 cases had increased even with some provinces closing indoor dining and movie theaters during the holidays.

Dr. Matthew Oughton, assistant professor of medicine at McGill University and attending physician in the infectious diseases division of Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital, acknowledged that there was no significant surge in Quebec and Ontario.

However, “What’s actually striking is that we didn’t see the decrease that you would have expected to see as a result of those lockdown measures,” Oughton pointed out. “One of the theories is that at the same time the lockdown measures should have been bringing things down, it was actually Thanksgiving pushing those numbers back up.”

Dr. Laura Rosella, associate professor and epidemiologist at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, added that the number of cases had already been increasing before the holiday, but that Thanksgiving appeared to be the cause of the spike.

She explained, “We saw our highest numbers yet in the two weeks following Thanksgiving, which is consistent with the incubation period, when people would show symptoms and get reported.”

Public health officials in the US have already issued warnings against large get-togethers during Thanksgiving. Experts also suggested scaling down to small and ventilated gatherings with household members.

According to a recent study, it’s almost a certainty that at least one in 10 people will be carrying the virus. So it’s best to scale gatherings down to fewer than 10 people.

Aside from this, coronavirus cases have already been on the rise across the country as the weather gets colder. Just this Sunday, the US has recorded more than 11 million coronavirus cases. Come Monday morning, the number of recorded cases was 11,038,312.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have issued executive orders that discourage travel and limit indoor gatherings to 10 people or fewer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends bringing your own food and utensils to any gathering, sitting outside or in a well-ventilated area, and avoiding moving in and out of rooms.


Source: New York Post

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