The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (Health Unit) is advising families to celebrate Thanksgiving with caution in a week’s time.

A release from the Health Unit is urging people to “be careful of what you share” in relation to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health, says that staying safe should be top of mind when planning Thanksgiving celebrations.

“More than ever before, we must slow the spread of COVID-19 by following public health recommendations to protect one another,” said Dr. Chirico. “Mark these special occasions with happy memories and not COVID-19.”

Ontario recently reduced the number of people allowed at social gatherings amid an increase in daily cases of COVID-19 since August. Indoor gatherings of up to 10 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people are permitted under the new rules.

The Health Unit has provided suggestions on how to safely celebrate Thanksgiving this year. They advise to limit celebrations to people within the household, limit the time of visits, consider outdoor celebrations if possible, and consider virtual celebrations.

It is also being advised that family members and students should carefully consider the risks of COVID-19 if they plan to come home for the holiday.

“No one wants to be the person who gives their loved ones COVID-19,” the Health Unit states. “We ask that you think carefully about where you go and what you do to protect the ones you love, especially those who are at greater risk.”

The Health Unit also wants to remind people that proper hand hygiene, physical distancing protocols, face masks, and coughing/sneezing into your arm or elbow are all crucial in reducing the spread of COVID-19.