November 20, 2020
County Board Chair Analiese Eicher, (608) 571-6823
County Board

County Board Supervisors would like to encourage the public to limit their Thanksgiving holiday celebrations to the members of their households.


According to Public Health Madison & Dane County, with support from members of the County Board, the message remains that Thanksgiving celebrations must look different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


"We are in a crisis! Our Dane County hospitals are near capacity. Healthcare workers are exhausted and overwhelmed. Every gathering with folks outside of your immediate household is an opportunity for COVID to spread. This will only prolong this deadly pandemic for all of us. Please do your part to protect your loved ones, your neighbors, our healthcare workers and yourself. Your empathy and sacrifice now will save lives later," said County Board Supervisor Holly Hatcher, who is also a nurse, and serves on the Board of Health.  


Public Health Madison & Dane County strongly urges everyone to stay home and to celebrate Thanksgiving only with people you live with. Cases and hospitalizations have been dramatically rising, both locally and nationally, over October and November. Gathering for Thanksgiving, even if the gathering is small, puts our county and state at risk of overwhelming our health care system.


Here are some ideas of safe things you could do this Thanksgiving:

  • Shop for gifts online and mail them to people
  • Play a virtual board game
  • Share recipes with friends/family and cook the same meal in different homes
  • Host a virtual dinner or celebration
  • Watch parades and sports events from home
  • Order takeout or delivery from local businesses offering Thanksgiving meals


If people attend any kind of gathering this Thanksgiving, they should stay home for 14 days after the event and monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms. If they are not able to quarantine before or after an event, then they should plan not to attend.


This is also a very challenging time of year for those living with mental illness or otherwise struggling with the ongoing isolation. United Way Dane County lists available resources on their website available here:


"Take care of yourselves, family, friends, neighbors, and the greater community. Stay home, check in with loved ones and friends, and celebrate the holiday safely," said County Board Chair Analiese Eicher. "This is not how anyone pictured Thanksgiving 2020, but we need to come together to protect one another, and that means staying home."


Members of the public are also reminded that under the current Public Health order, indoor gatherings of any size are not permitted.


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