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Thanksgiving Family Day

By Jane Whitmore - | Nov 19, 2020

Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather and give thanks. Sadly, this year will be a little different, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While we want to gather together, we are smart enough to know there must be limitations. From the Centers for Disease Control, to the Iowa Department of Public Health, right on down to Palo Alto County Public Health, everyone is asking us to proceed with caution.

• Trim the guest list

• Cover your face and maintain your distance

• Stay outside and stay safe

• Encourage good hygiene

We need to practice safe guidelines. Common sense steps will keep our families safe and our businesses open.

Things are changing rapidly. Every day there are new guidelines for us to follow.

This week, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a a list of enhanced public health measures. I’m sure most of you have heard this on television/radio. Sometimes it helps to see a written reminder.

Effective Nov. 17 through Dec. 10:

Mask Use: Indoor spaces open to the public & State executive branch buildings

• Masks required when individuals are within 6 feet of one another for 15 minutes or longer with certain exceptions

Gathering Restrictions: Social, community, business, or leisure gatherings

• No more than 15 people indoors and 30 people outdoors

• These restrictions apply to wedding receptions, family gatherings, conventions, and other nonessential gatherings but do not apply to gatherings that occur during the ordinary course of business or government

Sporting and Recreational Events: Youth and adult group sporting and recreational gathering are prohibited except for high school, college, and professional sports

High School Sports & Extracurriculars: Sporting, recreational, and extracurricular events

• Only two spectators permitted for each high school athlete, performer or competitor, and must wear a mask and maintain 6 feet distance from other spectators

• Students can be closer than six feet and are not required to wear masks

Restaurants and Bars: Restaurant or bar, including a wedding reception venue, winery, brewery, distillery, country club, or other social or fraternal club

• Closed to in-person services at 10:00pm

• No bar seating

• Masks required when not seated (while playing games, dancing, etc.)

• Six feet distancing between groups

• Groups limited to 8 people unless larger group is all same household

• Seated when eating or drinking and limit congregating

Fitness Centers: Fitness centers, health clubs, health spas, gyms

• Group fitness activities are prohibited

Casinos & Gaming Facilities: Masks required except when seated to eat or drink

Closer/Prolonged Contact Establishments: Bowling alleys, pool halls, bingo halls, arcades, indoor playgrounds, children’s play centers

• Closed to in-person services at 10:00pm

• Mask required when not seated to eat or drink

• Ensure that groups and individuals are six feet apart at establishment

• Groups limited to eight people unless larger group is all same household

Nonessential/elective surgeries: A hospital must reduce its in-patient, nonessential surgeries to a level that uses at least 50% fewer beds than it did on average during September 2020

We all want to be together for Thanksgiving and for Christmas and for New Years. This year that just may not be practical. Protect your family and your friends. We can give thanks that we stay healthy.