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Camping Could Be A Safe Way To Celebrate Thanksgiving With Family

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Nate Hegyi
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Mountain West News Bureau
Public health officials in Idaho and Utah say camping could be a safe way to celebrate Thanksgiving, so long as hygiene and social distancing guidelines are followed.

As the pandemic surges across the nation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday advised against families and friends gathering for Thanksgiving. But there is one potentially safe way to see relatives and celebrate the holiday – camping.

“Just be aware that even though you’re outside you don’t want to be huddling too close around the campfire,” said Christine Hahn, medical director for the Idaho Division of Public Health. “You still need to remember to distance.”

She also advised against hanging out in the same tent or trailer. But being outside with another household – so long as everyone is following proper hygiene and social distancing guidelines – could be a cold but fun way to enjoy turkey together, she said.

Charla Haley, public information officer for the Utah Department of Health, agrees that camping could be safe. However, she would limit the gathering to immediate members of your household.

“Enjoy the outdoors,” she said. “I think camping would be a great way to escape this craziness for a while. Get away and disengage. I think that sounds lovely at this point.”

Haley suggested limiting stops during the drive to a campsite, as well as wearing a mask when filling up at the gas station.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.