People around the table should be limited during Thanksgiving

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As new COVID-19 cases continue to rise around Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Wednesday that gatherings will be subject to new restrictions. 

Starting Friday, private indoor gatherings are to include no more than two households with a maximum of eight people, an announcement that came as hospitalizations for the coronavirus increased around Louisville.

"We're facing something potentially catastrophic here with the hospital occupancy rates right now," said Dr. Tony Weaver with U of L Health. "I think, in that sense, drastic action was necessary."

Patti Geraghty is one of 10 kids and said she normally has 50 people at her Thanksgiving celebration. After contracting COVID-19 herself, she said she and her family decided to keep things socially distanced this year instead.

"It's just going to be my brother, my sister in-law, me and my niece. The ones that live at home," she said. "Everyone else is going to stay at their house because of the virus."

Cynthia Thurman agrees with Beshear's restrictions, saying Thanksgiving this year will just be herself and her daughter. 

"I kind of think he's right," she said. "Some people don't like what he's saying but I think he's good."

As of Thursday, the governor's announcement doesn't have any law enforcement backing it. Without the fear of punishment, Bob Nestmann isn't sure everyone else will follow his lead and cancel Thanksgiving plans.

"I hope people take that to heart, but I suspect quite a few won't," Nestmann said. "You just have to rely on people to do what they should do, not what they want to do."

Weaver said if you do plan on having people over for Thanksgiving, open windows, stay 6 feet apart, don't share serving utensils and turn on the air inside the home. He also suggests eating outside if possible.

"If a virus itself were in charge of designing the next week, it could not design a better system for spread than Thanksgiving is," Weaver said. "We all recognize stranger danger ... but our own children and our own parents, we don't recognize the danger there. And, in fact, they can be every bit as likely to harbor the virus."

The restrictions are set to end on Sunday, Dec. 13.

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