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Healthy and Safe Thanksgiving

Local leaders, YRMC suggest healthy habits to reduce risk for COVID-19

As we prepare to enjoy “the most wonderful time of the year,” let’s remember that the greatest gift of this year’s holiday season is an ongoing commitment to protect our family, friends and community from COVID-19 and the flu.

Unfortunately, the traditional urge to gather together in homes and offices for Thanksgiving celebrations coincides with a serious rise in COVID-19 cases, along with the start of yet another flu season. On behalf of Yuma’s healthcare heroes, we strongly recommend that our community find new and meaningful ways to give thanks with family members, all while keeping those we love healthy and safe.

We encourage everyone to keep CDC guidelines in mind as we partake in holiday traditions this year. While we all look forward to participating in this holiday season, we must remain mindful of our own health, as well as the health of our loved ones.

Here are several options that local families may want to consider for their healthy holiday celebrations:

  • Wear masks around family members outside of your immediate household
  • Limit the number of people in your holiday gatherings
  • Host virtual Thanksgiving dinners for those who are more at risk

A major advantage for local residents this holiday season, however, is our area’s famously mild winter weather. The opportunity to be able to move gatherings outdoors (combined with masking and distancing) greatly reduces the risk of COVID-19 infection. We encourage you to consider going outside for your small gatherings. Also remember the outdoors when planning family activities, whether it’s going hiking or camping along the Colorado River or out in our beautiful desert. 

We can still celebrate with those we love by helping minimize the spread of both COVID-19 and the flu.

We also fully support the CDC’s guidelines for celebrating Thanksgiving while taking measures to prevent the spread of both the flu and COVID-19:
  • Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups and utensils.
  • Larger gatherings put people at more risk; if exposed to someone with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, quarantining for a 14-day period is required. Be aware of your activities up through your exposure to new people as well. 
  • Wear a mask, preferably with two or more layers, and make sure it fits appropriately. Appropriate fit includes both the nose and mouth being covered, as well as secure coverage of both sides of your face.
  • For those gathering indoors, keep windows open.

Virtual gatherings, however, are truly the safest choice while continuing to gather with those in your household. Here are some activities you might consider to greatly minimize the threat of disease spread:
  • Host a virtual dinner prep and make the same recipe together across miles.
  • Watch Thanksgiving Day events, such as parades and sports, at the same time as those far away and share favorite moments via text, email or video calls.
One of the great lessons of this pandemic is the power of our community coming together to make healthy choices that protect the health of our families and neighbors. For our upcoming Thanksgiving celebrations, let us all truly celebrate everything we have to be grateful for in Yuma, all while working together to protect the community that we cherish.


Yuma Regional Medical Center & State and Local Elected Leaders
Dr. Robert J. Trenschel
YRMC President and CEO 
Amanda Aguirre
Regional Center for Border Health
Mayor Gerardo Anaya
City of Somerton
Tim Dunn
State Representative 
Charlene Fernandez
State Representative
Michael Fila
Public Health Officer, Cocopah Tribe
Diana Gomez
Chief Health Officer 
Yuma County  Public Health Services 
Kimberly Kahl
Executive Director
Yuma County Chamber of Commerce 
Sine Kerr 
State Senator 
Russell McCloud
Yuma County Board of Supervisors
Mayor Cecilia McCollough
Town of Wellton 
Mayor Doug Nicholls
City of Yuma
Joanne Osborne
State Representative   
Lisa Otondo
State Senate
Dr. Gerae Peten
State Representative
Marco A. “Tony” Reyes, Chairman
Yuma County Board of Supervisors
Mayor Gerardo Sanchez
City of San Luis   

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