Utah Governor Gary Herbert lifted restrictions on some of his state’s most serious coronaviruses before Thanksgiving, including an order restricting social gatherings to those living in a certain household, a break from what other governors did before the holiday.
Herbert’s new ordinance, after limiting social gatherings to only one household in the past two weeks and not explicitly exempting private homes, contained a specific provision that the health regime does not apply to non-commercial gatherings on private homes. It’s a sharp rift from what other governors have done since the virus cases hit late in the fall, with several states implementing stricter regulations over the past week rather than resolving them.
But the Republican governor continued to warn against Thanksgiving when he announced an updated health order and told Utahns that the safest way to celebrate the holiday was simply to be a member of their household.
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“This Thanksgiving will be no different,” Herbert said in a tweet. “This year, the best way is to show your family and friends that you love them when you stay home and have a private holiday with those you live with – instead of gathering in larger groups.”
He added: “We cannot defeat COVID if we celebrate the holidays as usual.”
Herbert’s new health routine still contains plenty of restrictions. Persons who are indoors and outdoors in places where social distance is not possible should wear a mask. At public events, there is still a need for individuals to wear masks and social distance, as well as other measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Businesses need to wear a mask, whether indoors or not.
The regulation also requires coronavirus testing in colleges.
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But Herbert decides to lift the strictest restrictions on his state just before the holiday, when governors of other states do just the opposite.
Minnesota recently banned a ban on social gatherings for anyone not from the same household. Kentucky carried out a similar order, but gathered up to eight people from two households.
Oregon has issued a “two-week freeze” that limits gatherings to six people in no more than two households. Michigan does not include a number limit, but it restricts gatherings in two households.
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Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced a three-week “break” on Sunday that limited social gatherings to a maximum of ten people from two households. Sisolak warned citizens that if the number of cases does not decrease, he will be “forced to intervene and take stronger action,” which could include indoor meals, gym closures and “.[s]it should impose restrictions on the collection of dimensions. “
The downturn in many states will occur when the coronavirus number reaches record highs, and officials and experts warn that a possible deadly winter will cause people to spend more time indoors and cross the flu season with the pandemic.
“The increase in the rate of our case is at the level of wildfire – even beyond neighboring states such as Arizona. All available models indicate that Nevada is in the ‘red zone’ and our health experts expect further growth of the case based on current trends,” Sisolak said. “Our hospitals have a record number of experiences, and as a few weeks ago, Dr. Tony Slonim, named Renown, heard that patients were being treated in an alternative care location in the parking lot.”
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He added: “Our public infrastructure is quickly congested.”
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz also warned that even smaller gatherings in houses are “one of the most risky things we can do now.”
“The other day I heard a nurse who was with me and said,‘ please stay home during Thanksgiving so you don’t celebrate with me on duty, ”he added.
Meanwhile, some Republican officials are pushing back on restrictions and recommendations for people to leave Thanksgiving. Senator Ted Cruz of R-Texas was perhaps the most prominent, who tweeted a version of the “Come and Pick” flag that replaces the iconic cannon with turkey.
“Twitter leftists are losing their minds that we are unwilling to give up Thanksgiving,” Cruz said of the reaction to the picture. “Wait until they find out we’re not giving up Christmas either.”
Lee Zeldin, RN.Y. MP, meanwhile, praised the county sheriff’s office for announcing that he would not enforce the collection limits imposed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo before the holiday.
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“This is 100% the right call! Just one of the many reasons to be grateful to local men and women in blue in this #Thank you,” Zeldin tweeted.
Experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading epidemiologist, warn that a virus spread during Thanksgiving could lead to increased hospitalization and deaths for Christmas and the New Year.
“What worries me the most right now is the situation where people travel from different places and return home for Thanksgiving,” Fauci said on Monday on his PBS NewsHour. “So if we could just stay there and adhere to these public health measures as we get more and more relief from the vaccines that will be available in December, I think we need to be encouraged not to give up and continue to push for public health measures.”
The Associated Press contributed to the report.