MDH changes advice, says Minnesotans should only celebrate Thanksgiving with immediate household

"As tempting as it is to stick with our cherished traditions this year, we really need people to reconsider and frankly not gather with other households."

The Minnesota Department of Health is urging people to only celebrate the upcoming holidays with their immediate household.

"As tempting as it is to stick with our cherished traditions this year, we really need people to reconsider and frankly not gather with other households – especially if those households include people in a high-risk category for severe illness," MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Monday.

This is a shift from last week, when health officials said it was OK for groups of no more than 10 people from three households to get together. 

"Right now, any gathering of more than a few people with more than your immediate household presents a much higher risk than was the case even a couple of weeks ago," Malcolm said.

"So we are asking you – the health guidance is getting more conservative in this sense – to help us slow the spread of COVID-19 by celebrating only with members of your immediate household," she added.

This comes as cases and hospitalizations are skyrocketing – Minnesota has added 26,000 new cases over the past three days – reaching levels beyond what MDH could have imagined, Malcolm said.

Malcolm said she wished the state and country were in a place where it is safe to get together in smaller groups with a limited number of households, "but we really believe we are at a crisis point."

Any time you gather with people outside of your household the risk of spreading the virus increases because even people who don't have COVID-19 symptoms can spread it to others, she noted.

Follow Bring Me The News on News Break

And this includes college students coming home for Thanksgiving break. MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann is urging students to "lay low" before they travel home for the holidays. 

"We know there will be a lot of pushback, a lot of people really wanting to get together anyway despite the health guidance. But we really do believe that what we're going to do in the next couple of weeks is going to tell the story of what later December and January and February are going to look like in our state," Malcolm said. 

She called adjusting holiday plans a "short-term temporary sacrifice," albeit a "big one," but noted it is a step people can take now to "reduce the spread of COVID-19 at a time when our entire state – and in fact the entire country – is one gigantic hotspot."

Next Up


DirecTV subscribers could lose KARE 11 on Tuesday

A new contract needs to be agreed upon by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

prison, Rush City cell block

Inmate from Rush City prison dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The man is the fifth incarcerated person in Minnesota to die from COVID-19.


Belle Plaine man dies after duck boat capsizes on lake

One man was found sitting on the overturned boat while another man was in the water.

Screen Shot 2020-11-29 at 4.59.51 PM

Watch: Adam Thielen watches end of Vikings/Panthers just like all of us

The Vikings receiver looked like a true fan on Sunday afternoon.

Chad Beebe

Chad Beebe's roller-coaster fourth-quarter keeps Vikings playoff hopes alive

A muffed punt and a game-winning touchdown helped defeat the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.


West-central MN cops warn kids to stay off ice, or 'Santa won't come'

This comes amid repeated ice warnings across the state.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Nov. 29 COVID-19 update: 57 deaths, nearly 9,000 more cases

Nearly 100,000 tests were included in Sunday's report.

jim ramstad

Watch former Rep. Jim Ramstad's memorial service online

The ceremony will be live-streamed for the public on Sunday.


How high can Rashod Bateman go in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The Gophers star receiver has plenty of praise heading into next April.

TCF Bank Stadium

15 more from Gopher football team test positive for COVID-19

That brings the total number of cases from this outbreak to 40.

Teddy Bridgewater

5 questions for Vikings-Panthers Week 12 NFC battle

The Vikings welcome Teddy Bridgewater back to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

police lights

Man, 21, in custody after Albert Lea police officer shot in the chest

The officer was able to drive to an emergency room.



MDH: Wear a mask, spread out when celebrating this weekend

"We need to be in a new normal and to continue to stay vigilant this weekend to protect ourselves and our loved ones," MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said.

thanksgiving turkey

COVID-19: MDH's guidance for celebrating Thanksgiving during a pandemic

MDH's guidance for celebrating Thanksgiving this year asks people to avoid large gatherings and instead celebrate in small groups or with family.


Doctors urge Minnesotans to re-think Thanksgiving plans, follow CDC advice

The Minnesota Medical Association has issued a plea to Minnesotans at a time when hospitals are under tremendous strain.

thanksgiving turkey

As COVID-19 surges, CDC urges people to stay home for Thanksgiving

The federal agency recommends people avoid traveling and only celebrating the holiday at home with people they live with.

social gathering

COVID-19: How will Minnesota's ban on social gatherings be enforced?

Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday announced social gatherings of all kinds with people outside your household are prohibited for the next four weeks.

PPE, coronavirus, covid-19

MDH: Here's why MN coronavirus death figures aren't inflated

It follows misinformation being shared on social media relating to death certificates.

coronavirus, covid-19, drive-thru testing

Here are the 4 free COVID-19 testing sites in MN for the week of Oct. 19

People don't need to have symptoms or insurance to get tested for free.