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Cedar Rapids healthcare providers recommend celebrating holidays only with immediate household

Mercy & UnityPoint CR

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital are encouraging Iowans to rethink plans for traditional Thanksgiving gatherings.

Leaders of both hospitals say the safest way to spend the holiday is to celebrate only with individuals in your immediate household. The recommendation echoes similar guidance from Governor Reynolds on Monday.

The recent surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations is prompting hospital officials to share the unified message. Both hospitals say they are caring for record numbers of COVID-19 patients.

"Limiting holiday gathering this year to immediate family will help reduce the spread of COVID-19," Dr. Dustin Arnold, UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital Chief Medical Officer said. "It is another significant sacrifice to ask people to make; however, one that will ultimately save lives."

"In addition to keeping community members safe over the holidays, our focus is also on keeping our workforce healthy," Dr. Tony Myers, VP of Quality, Risk and Medical Affairs at Mercy Medical Center said. "We are in a situation where we absolutely need our healthcare workers to be able to care for patients. It’s in everyone’s best interest to be as safe as possible over the holidays."

Hospital officials suggest families looking for alternative ways to safely celebrate the holidays should consider using Zoom, FaceTime or other video platforms, to connect with family and friends virtually.

Trevor Oates

Executive Producer

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