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Doctor urges Utahns to stay home, stay safe this Christmas

AMERICAN FORK, Utah – Dr. Scott Van Wagoner believes some people will get together this Christmas, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why he urges everyone to be smart about it. 

“I think, if we can, limit that to fewer numbers [of people], maybe within your social bubble, those who are closest to you,” Van Wagoner said. “And those who maybe agree upon following the guidelines with mask wearing and distancing, as well as we can outside the home.” 

Wagoner gave the advice during a roundtable the Utah County Health Department hosted Thursday over Facebook. 

But he and the other doctors also encouraged Utahns to stay home if they can and not host huge parties. 

“I think you’d hate to be the host of a super-spreader event and send somebody home with the worst Christmas gift ever, and that’s coronavirus,” Van Wagoner says.   

If people want to host a get-together, Van Wagoner suggested checking out a restaurant instead of cooking and sharing food. 

“Maybe look at supporting local businesses and restaurants following the guidelines from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and our local health department,” Van Wagoner said. 

Health officials say Utah avoided a spike in COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving because people stayed home instead of going to grandma’s house.