Doctors Say Vaccinated Oklahomans Can Safely Gather For Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 23rd 2021, 9:27 pm
By: Jordan Tidwell

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Doctors with the Healthier Oklahoma Coalition met on Tuesday to discuss how the Thanksgiving Holiday will affect COVID-19 cases in the state.

They say thanks to vaccines and lower cases right now, it's fine to gather with your family this year.

Doctors say while they do expect a peak in cases after the holiday, they don't expect it to be as high as other peaks we've seen during the pandemic.

"We just have to be aware, and if you arent feeling well, I would say even if it is last minute, I wouldn't join the rest of your family and dear friends around the table," said Dr. Jean Hausheer, Healthier Oklahoma Coalition.

Doctor Aaron Wendelboe says cases have already gotten higher in the state the past two weeks, with the rolling average going from 561 daily cases, to 831.

He says cases and hospitalizations will rise after the holiday, but not to the same levels we saw last year or with the delta variant.

"How much mitigation and layers we put in will affect that peak, if we get vaccinated, if we get boosters, if we continue to mask, all of those things are going to make the future peak lower," said Dr. Aaron Wendelboe, Epidemiologist.

The panelists say you can gather with your family this Thanksgiving, but it's still best to take precautions.

Like gathering with those who are vaccinated, even opening a window to circulate air, and keeping guest spaced out.

"If everybody is local, and have been taking precautions, and there are no vulnerable people, probably the risk is going to be very small," said Dr. Stan Schwartz, CEO at WellOK.

Dr. Jean Hausheer says if you take these precautions, you should be able to enjoy the holiday safely with your loved ones.

"Once the day arrives I think people should sit back, set aside their covid anxiety, and enjoy each other and the holiday, I think that's so important," she said.

They suggest getting tested now before gathering with your family on Thursday.