With COVID-19 cases and other respiratory viruses circulating in many areas of the state, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is urging Illinoisans to take precautions and celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday safely without spreading the virus to family and friends. In addition to being fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19 and the flu, IDPH encourages the public to get tested before attending holiday gatherings, especially if you’ll be visiting someone at high risk for severe COVID-19; to stay home if you are sick; and practice good hand hygiene. In addition, holiday hosts are urged to ensure gatherings are well-ventilated.
These safety reminders come as the CDC is reporting 21 Illinois counties at an elevated Community Level for COVID-19. IDPH is reporting 13,659 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, and 48 deaths since November 11.
"As we prepare to celebrate all that we are thankful for this season, I want to encourage all Illinoisians to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. "With respiratory illnesses such as RSV, the flu, and COVID-19 leading to increased illness and hospitalizations, I strongly recommend using all available strategies to stay healthy and safe. These strategies include COVID-19 testing, especially if visiting someone at risk for severe disease, enhanced ventilation, good hand hygiene, staying home if sick, and getting up to date with both the COVID-19 bivalent booster and the flu shot. All of us at IDPH wish Illinois residents a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving.”