Health leaders urge public to change Thanksgiving plans as COVID metrics surge

State health officials are again asking people to reconsider big Thanksgiving gatherings as another 47 people in Illinois have died from COVID-19.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced the latest daily death toll on Monday, reporting 8,322 new confirmed and probable cases of the virus.

Public health officials nationwide have been urging people to scrap traditional Thanksgiving plans to curb the spread of the disease.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the state public health director, said it isn’t too late.

“Thanksgiving hasn’t happened yet. People can still change their plans and change the outcome,” she said during a news conference. “’We don’t have to have superspreader events at homes throughout our state and throughout the country and then bring it back. Please reconsider your plans and see if we can be part of the solution to decrease infections instead of part of a plan to increase them.”

There are currently 6,171 people hospitalized with coronavirus with 1,206 people in intensive care units and 635 people on ventilators. Overall, Illinois has reported 664,620 cases of COVID-19 and 11,552 deaths.