Health officials suggest limiting sizes of gatherings for upcoming holidays

Health officials are suggesting that people limit the sizes of any gatherings to celebrate the upcoming holidays.
Halloween is about two weeks away, followed by Thanksgiving and Christmas. And while celebrating those holidays may be fun, health experts say that they come with COVID-19 infection risks.
“We urge everyone to take stock of how many people you may be inviting to your Thanksgiving table,” Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday.
Murphy said that he spoke with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield about the holidays, saying that family gatherings often spark outbreaks.
“This is not the year to plan to visit out-of-state relatives or invite them to New Jersey,” Murphy said.
The warning to not let one’s guard down comes as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise nationwide and statewide.
There were 973 new positive cases of the virus in New Jersey on Thursday. Middlesex County had 89 new cases.
In Old Bridge, which is located in Middlesex County, the spirit of Halloween can be spotted on nearly every home. One neighborhood is even adverting a Halloween block party – an idea that is not sitting well with some residents.
“It’s a great idea. A block party is great, but not in a pandemic,” said one Old Bridge resident.
The resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, says that the flier suggested a street closure and rides for children. There was no mention of face masks.
“With corona on the rise, you’d be potentially putting everyone at risk. This is not the time,” she says.
The woman says that she hasn’t even decided if it is safe to hand out Halloween candy this year, let alone participating in what some consider to be a potential super-spreader event.
While a permit would be needed for such an event, it is exactly the kind of event the governor is saying to be wary of attending.