How to safely celebrate Thanksgiving in Alberta this year amid COVID-19

Thanksgiving dinner is shown on a decorated table. (Getty Images)

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, many Albertans may be wondering how they can safely celebrate the holiday amid a fourth wave of COVID-19.

How you're able to enjoy Thanksgiving in Alberta depends on whether you're planning to be inside or outside, and whether or not you're vaccinated.

Currently, indoor social gatherings are allowed but limited to 10 vaccinated people and no more than two households.

Indoor social gatherings are not permitted for vaccine-eligible people who are unvaccinated.

Outdoor social gatherings were previously limited to a maximum of 200 people, but on Tuesday, Premier Jason Kenney announced that number would be lowered to 20 effective Oct. 6

"This weekend of course is Thanksgiving. A time when family and friends gather – usually around the table, indoors, at home – to share a meal and give thanks for their blessings.

"Indoor gatherings last Thanksgiving sparked the second wave of COVID-19, with cases and hospitalizations surging after millions of Albertans celebrated in close contact with loved ones. We simply cannot afford a repeat scenario. Not with this dangerous Delta variant that is still circulating and with our hospitals under such severe pressure." 

Kenney said if Albertans follow the rules that are in place, than we won't see the same scenario that played out last fall. 

"Please follow the rules that are in place," Kenney said.

"Together, we need to do everything we can to ease the tremendous pressure on our health care system."

Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said Tuesday she hopes Albertans will not just follow the rules, but exceed them.

"Show your care for your family and friends by having a small gathering, preferably outside. Don't have any indoor gatherings unless you are 100 per cent sure that everyone is fully vaccinated," Hinshaw said.

"Do this for yourself, for your family – of if you need more motivation, do this for the health care workers who are giving every ounce of their energy to caring for people in critical condition, telling family that their loved ones have died and struggling to keep the health care system running."

"Your actions have never mattered more and they will make a difference."