'Unvaccinated should avoid indoor gatherings at Thanksgiving': MLHU

Medical officer of health for Middlesex-London, Dr. Chris Mackie, gave guidance Thursday for how to safely enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend with friends and family.

“The most important step is to have as many people vaccinated as possible for those gatherings,” says Mackie. “Equally important is to have the gatherings outdoors. Getting outdoors is about 20 times safer than gathering indoors.”

When asked what families with young children who are unable to get vaccinated should do Mackie responded, “Anyone that is unvaccinated should avoid gathering indoors over the Thanksgiving period.”

A year ago, post-secondary students were encouraged to avoid travelling home for the holiday, but with many people vaccinated, that isn’t as much of a concern this autumn.

“It’s great to see such a strong uptake in the post-secondary community...the risk of student travel contributing significantly to spread is much lower.”

Mackie adds that he encourages people to visit with family, but in a safe way

“Do travel in Ontario to see family, but if you can, keep the gatherings outdoors particularly when there are multi-generations involved that will help keep things even safer.”

The province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health also gave direction Thursday for gatherings over the holiday weekend and for Halloween.

Dr. Kieran Moore issued a reminder of the gathering limits for private events -- 25 indoors and 100 outdoors -- and emphasized that virtual gatherings are still safest.

Full details of his recommendations can be found here.