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California governor issues strict Thanksgiving guidelines; What should Idahoans do on turkey day?

KTVB reached out to retired CEO and President of St. Luke's Health System and current member of the Idaho coronavirus task force, Dr. David Pate to find out.

BOISE, Idaho — From California to Idaho, people are talking about the Golden State's Gov. Gavin Newsom and his guidelines when it comes to social gatherings. Newsom issued that guidance just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

“It's kind of like living in a confined society right now there,” said Dan Mudrovich, who moved from Southern California to Star, Idaho nearly three years ago. “My first thoughts hearing it, was once again Mr. Newsom is being a power monger again trying to control the people unnecessarily and it's one of the reasons people are leaving California."

The guidelines state that no more than three households can gather together at a time. Gatherings must be held outside and should last less than two hours. Attendees may go inside to use restrooms as long as the restrooms are frequently sanitized. Also, singing, chanting, and shouting are strongly discouraged.

“I kind of backed up a little bit when I read that you can only have three families in a house and they have to be spaced out at the tables," Mudrovich. "Where do you end these restrictions, where does it end out there?” 

He's not the only one who was taken back by the news.

“It was surprising, I kind of scrolled back up to find out if it was a legitimate post or if it was a joke,” said Meridian resident Angela Del Toro. 

She and her husband moved from Los Angeles County to Meridian last year. She said she understands the need for guidelines when in public places, but this seemed a bit over the top.

“I’m glad we left when we left,” Del Toro said. “Of course, my online feeds are still full of things from California and when I see posts related to Gavin Newsom it's kind of liking seeing posts from your ex, I kind of roll my eyes and say, 'thank God I don’t live there anymore.'”

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So, what should Idahoans be doing this Thanksgiving?

Retired CEO and president of St. Luke's Health System, as well as a current member of the Idaho coronavirus task force, Dr. David Pate, told KTVB while Newsom's guidelines are consistent with our state of knowledge and overall good guidance, it's a bit much for a mandate.

“While we certainly need to have guidance and perhaps, in places, some restrictions on public events, I think it gets to a really sensitive point when we start making rules or mandates about what's going to happen in a person's personal home or property,” Pate said.

He added that he doesn't believe Idaho will see a rule or mandate that applies to Thanksgiving. 

“I think it's unreasonable to tell people you can’t get together with extended family or friends, that's not going to work,” Pate said. “So I think what we need to do instead is say, look we understand some of you probably are going to do this, we want you to understand the risks and we want you to understand what you can do to mitigate those risks.” 

For example, he recommends limiting the number of family members who you spend the holiday with and take into consideration if you have college students included in your plans.

“Right now, the population that has the highest risk of infection is that college age group and we do know there is a lot of spread in colleges and universities,” Pate said.

Also, think about how you'll serve Thanksgiving dinner this year.

“Is there an alternative to passing a plate or bowl and everyone using the same serving spoon or fork? Is there one person who can wear a mask and wash their hands and serve the food rather than handing plates around family style?” Pate said.

He reminded Idahoans to try and keep physical distance when possible and if you can't, consider wearing a mask.

“Next Thanksgiving it's going to be completely different," Pate said. "I think we have every reason to be hopeful. We're in the home stretch and if we can just keep it up for another six to nine months, we're going to get that finish line."

He told KTVB the risk also increases if the people you're spending Thanksgiving with have to travel.

Meantime, Del Toro said she knows a lot of native Idahoans are fearful of Californians moving to Idaho and she wants them to now they're on their team. They're not here to ruin things, they love how things are and want to keep it that way.

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