Health experts recommend some Thanksgiving holiday changes due to COVID-19

Health officials recommending some changes for Thanksgiving this year

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - As people begin to prepare for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Baton Rouge area grocery stores are stocking up to make sure they’re ready for anything, even with Turkey Day looking a little different this year thanks to COVID-19.

Health experts are saying people should stay home and avoid large gatherings.

“So far as what we’re doing, our sales have been up during COVID,” said Blaise Calandro, store manager for Calandro’s. “We are expecting that Thanksgiving is going to be 20, 30, 40 percent up just like it has been throughout most of the season.”

The CDC is also asking for people not to travel for the holidays this year, and if anything, try and do something virtual with your family.

It’s that time of the year where folks will flock to the grocery stores getting those ingredients for their Thanksgiving feast. Ann Wilson is already thinking about what her plans are going to be for dinner.

“One of the things we like to have is wrapped green beans, like bacon wrapped green beans. We think those are good for Thanksgiving, so we think we might have that," she said.

On the other hand, some are choosing not to do a big Thanksgiving holiday meal because of the pandemic. LSU law professor, Jeffrey Brooks, would normally plan a big Thanksgiving dinner for his students who are not from the area and can’t spend the holiday with their families.

“I live in a small apartment. We need to be socially distant, we need to wear masks, and gathering a bunch of students around my dinner table where they are going to be eating without masks on, then going out into the world, it just doesn’t seem safe to me,” said Brooks.

Health experts are encouraging families to stay home for the holidays, stick to their immediate families, and not travel.

As Thanksgiving traditions change, grocery stores like Calandro’s are stocking up on those items because with fewer big family gatherings, there will be an increase in smaller gatherings, and those people will want a turkey for their table.

“When every individual family three, four, or five people are doing their own thing, I think there’s a lot more likelihood that you’re going to be buying a lot more on the whole as far as what we see than what we normally see during Thanksgiving,” said Blaise Calandro III, one on the store managers.

The CDC says if families still want to get together to enjoy the holiday, have the big meal outside, or try to do something virtually with family members who are at high risk. If you’re planning on going out of town, the CDC says to make sure you have a backup plan if you do get sick while visiting.

Regardless, there are still ways to celebrate while also being safe.

WAFB’s Breanne Bizette will have more tonight at 9News at 6.

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