Medical expert urges families to keep Thanksgiving dinner to ‘quarantine bubble’

HOUSTON – Medical experts are asking Houstonians to be safe this holiday season by avoiding getting together with anyone outside of their household.

Linda Yancey, an infectious disease specialist at Memorial Hermann, said it’s the only way to prevent a spike.

“We’ve seen a steady rise in cases here in the Houston area since late September,” Yancey said. “We are terrified of having another surge as we did in the summer when hospitals were full. And we were worried about having to turn people away.”

The big concern is if people get together with folks outside of their quarantine bubble there will be a new spike in cases at a time when our health care system is already stretched to the limit, Yancey said.

Houstonians had mixed reactions to canceling their plans some understood. Many said their Thanksgiving dinner would be downsized.

“We’re keeping it in the bubble just our immediate family,” said Susan Sullivan.

Others said they would not let fear control or dictate their plans.

“I’m not going to let something like COVID really just mess that up. It’s causing more division and fear,” said Barrio Blessings.

Yancey recommends gathering virtually but said if you’re having others over you should do it outside and get tested.

“The city of Houston has requested that everybody get tested regardless of symptoms. But the bottom line is a positive test tells you, you have the disease. A negative test tells us you don’t have it right now. It doesn’t imply anything about tomorrow or the next day,” Yancey said.