Gathering at Thanksgiving

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Many families are vaccinated against COVID-19 heading into the holidays. But Louisville health leaders said there's still plenty of reason to be cautious at family gatherings.

University of Louisville Cardiologist Dr. Stephanie Moore said spreading COVID-19 is like having a rumor at a party: The rumor is less likely to spread if everyone already knows it. If people at the party don't know the rumor, it spreads like wildfire.

So she said if you're kids are still waiting to vaccinated, but everyone else already is, the risks are likely low.

"I don't think that we can live in absolute fear," Moore said. "We have vaccines that work."

Moore said it's important to evaluate your family based on those planning to attend.

"Even if you have a vaccine, you have to be smart," she said. "The vaccine does not prevent you from getting COVID. It prevents you from getting as sick from COVID."

Unvaccinated people and kids who aren't fully-protected yet can also get tested prior to any holiday activities. Bluewater Diagnostic in Louisville said it has seen an uptick in testing and expects the most influx Monday.

Rita Pardee is the Assistant Vice President of Surgical Services for Baptist Health Hardin. She said there's still always an option to mask. 

"Even with people who are vaccinated, they can still carry COVID and and spread COVID," Pardee said. "It'd be asymptomatic and not have any illness side effects. So definitely, unvaccinated folks still need to take the most protection."

Pardee said in the Hardin area, COVID-19 cases are slightly declining, but now isn't the time to ruin progress, even if that means having hard conversations with your loved ones.

"People have their own beliefs and they have their own opinions about things, and certainly, that's one of the pleasures of living in this country," she said. "I say the best you can do is try to explain it from a place that comes from the heart."

And Moore said this holiday season is one to be grateful for.

"What's important is our families and we just had a year of not being able to be together," Moore said. "This is an extra special holiday."

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