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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Orlando Pediatrician: Rethink Going Home for Thanksgiving Dinner

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Element5 Digital
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Many health experts are recommending families go virtual this year with their holiday celebrations because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

People older than 65 are at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus, so it might be up to relatives in that age group to say no to hosting Thanksgiving and other family dinners, Orlando-area physician Michael Keating says.

“That’s not easy to say," says Keating, a pediatric urologist with AdventHealth. "I have grandchildren in California, one of whom I’ve never even held and she’s almost a year old. And that’s a hurtful thing. But the problem is those little kiddies, they can’t wear masks, they may be symptom-free vectors, they may bring things back to the house to myself and my wife. And that’s a problem.”

Keating says if college students and out-of-state adults decide to go home to visit their families, they should continue to wear a face mask and wash their hands. 

And if  possible, they should also quarantine for two weeks before the visit. 

“And so if you decide to come home, you have to be very reasonable," he says. "If you decide to go on vacation with your family, I would recommend to quarantine yourself for two weeks perhaps before you go.”

He adds that people of any age with conditions like diabetes, heart disease or lung problems should avoid these events.