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Local public health officials give advice on how to safely celebrate Thanksgiving

When you decide how you're going to spend the holiday, think about how your actions may affect others during the pandemic.

DALLAS COUNTY, Iowa — Thanksgiving is going to look quite different this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Local public health leaders and those on the frontlines are encouraging everyone to make safe decisions. 

The following tips are here to help you plan a safe Thanksgiving: 

1. Don't go to or host a Thanksgiving dinner that includes people outside of those you live with. 

2. If your family includes a college student who is home for the holidays, everyone should be wearing a mask while not eating. 

3. Be aware of a false sense of security or bubble of safety. Just because you're with family doesn't mean they can't spread the virus. Simple activities like leaning in for a photo can be an opportunity to spread the virus. 

4. As an alternative to hours of sitting together where germs are in the air, consider bundling up and taking a walk outside. 

5. If you've been exposed to COVID-19 or tested positive, do not attend a Thanksgiving gathering. It can take up to 14 days after exposure to develop an infection so testing negative doesn't guarantee that you don't have the virus. 

All of these pieces of advice come directly from the Dallas County Public Health Department. 

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