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With COVID-19 Cases And Deaths Increasing, Safety Is In Our Hands This Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s normally celebrated with huge gatherings and food like turkey, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole assembled all across the dinner table — but this year’s celebration will look much different.

Some families are debating whether or not to gather with their whole family or travel to see their loved ones. On Wednesday during a press conference outside city hall, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and other city leaders advised residents to stay home because “the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is yet to come.”

COVID-19 numbers in the state of Texas continue to skyrocket. In the City of Dallas, numbers are looking worrisome and hospitals are filling up. There have been more than 111,000 positive cases and 1,100 deaths total in Dallas County.

“I’m imploring our residents of this great city — especially as they consider whether or not they should gather together with their friends or family — to take this virus seriously,” said Johnson.

City leaders say if this guidance isn't followed, they fear the fallout in the weeks ahead. Johnson is urging residents to prepare safely for this holiday season.

“If you really want to express love and concern and care and compassion and consideration for your family members and your friends at this time the best thing that you can do is create that distancing,” said Dr. Kelvin Baggett, the city’s Coronavirus and Healthcare Access Czar.

Baggett recommends Dallas residents should practice social distancing, continue to mask up and to keep gatherings to only those who live in your household.

Later that day, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that no statewide lockdown is coming. The mayor said it will be up to people in Dallas to turn things around and stressed the importance of wearing masks and staying socially distant.

“I'm a practical person. My job is to the extent that I can to save people's lives. I am going to share with the governor everything I've heard from the healthcare community, but we need to be realistic and take it into our own hands for our safety,” said Johnson.

Got a tip? Alejandra Martinez is a Report For America corps member and writes about the economic impact of COVID-19 on marginalized communities for KERA News. Email Alejandra at amartinez@kera.org. You can follow Alejandra on Twitter @_martinez_ale.

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Copyright 2020 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

Alejandra Martinez is a reporter for KERA and The Texas Newsroom through Report for America (RFA). She's covering the impact of COVID-19 and its associated economic fallout on marginalized communities.