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'Skip The Hugs' At Thanksgiving This Year, Says Olszewski

Cianna Greaves

To those families and friends who plan to gather for Thanksgiving, Maryland’s public officials have a plea: Don’t. At a press conference Monday, they pointed to rapidly rising COVID-19 numbers as they warned that Thanksgiving gatherings could be deadly this year.

“This Thanksgiving, skip crowded airports and packed planes,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “Skip the hugs and large family gatherings now so you can have them both for years to come.”

Gov. Larry Hogan said the Maryland State Police troopers are deploying to every part of the state this week to increase enforcement of mask wearing, social distancing, and restaurant and bar capacity limits.

Hogan also highlighted a State Police hotline where residents can report unsafe activities or violations of the state’s public health orders. Residents can reach the hotline at 833-979-2266 or by email at [email protected].

Hogan said most residents and businesses are abiding by the public health orders, but some appear to have become fatigued of the pandemic and its associated restrictions.

“At the beginning in the spring, everybody was just shocked by the novelty of it, and we were having announcements where we had one death and we had a dozen people that were infected and it was big news,” Hogan said. “Now they seem numb to the fact that we lose, you know, 15, 18, 24, 25 people a day, and they don't seem to care as much.”

Rachel Baye is a senior reporter and editor in WYPR's newsroom.
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