CA health secretary updates small gathering guidelines for Thanksgiving, holidays

California's health secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly updated the COVID-19 safety guidelines for small gatherings as families prepare to meet for Thanksgiving and the holiday season in a couple of weeks.

Ghaly said the state had seen a surge in COVID-19 cases since the start of November, which has concerned state health officials.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom says he shouldn't have attended birthday party at French Laundry amid COVID-19 surge

According to the state's data, California saw a 47.1% increase in daily coronavirus case rates per 100,000 people from November 1 to November 7.

He said that while he understands Californians have COVID-19 fatigue, the state's hospitals would be strained if the cases continue to rise at this rate. However, he said the state will continue on with its tiered system and is not looking to issue a statewide stay-at-home order.

"We are not looking today at a statewide stay-at-home order," Dr. Ghaly said. "We know many Californians are fatigued and tired."
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California's health secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly updated the COVID-19 safety guidelines for small gatherings as families prepare to meet for the holiday season.


Dr. Ghaly advised against large gatherings for Thanksgiving, saying that the safest way to celebrate the holidays is with people only from your immediate household.

He also listed these safety guidelines for those who are thinking of holding small gatherings at home:

  • Wear your mask
  • Keep your distance
  • Keep it small -- no more than three households, including your own
  • Keep gatherings short
  • Keep your windows open to circulate air
  • Protect older, at-risk friends and family


  • California surpassed one million coronavirus cases on Thursday, prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom and the governors from Washington and Oregon to issue a travel advisory on Friday.
    The advisory urges out of state travelers to quarantine for 14 days and advises against non-essential travel.

    When asked about reports of Gov. Newsom attending a birthday party at a restaurant with people from more than three households, Ghaly said his focus was on reducing COVID-19 spread in the state and referred reporters to Newsom's statement.

    Eleven counties slid back into more restrictive tiers on Monday, and Dr. Ghaly warned that more could fall backward if COVID-19 spread remains the same.

    MAP: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules

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