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Some Houstonians take Thanksgiving celebrations outside to reduce risk of catching COVID-19

Doctors say you need to practice all your safety measures at the same time to effectively reduce your chance of catching the virus.

Some Houstonians took their Thanksgiving celebrations outside to reduce their risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.

The CDC urged people not to gather with people outside their households because cases are rising largely due to small gatherings where people do not wear masks and social distance.

In Texas, the state reported record levels of single-day case counts for four out of seven days from Nov. 19 to Nov. 25.

With the rising cases, Uliya Yashtala and his family brought their Thanksgiving dinner to Levy Park in Houston.

“We all agreed to eat outside, so that part was easy," Yashtala said. “I didn’t think it was responsible for me to be inside and eat with them, so we felt it was a better idea to eat outside in the open air.”

Sitting outside is not a foolproof way of preventing COVID-19, doctors said.

Doctors said using a combination of healthy habits, masking, distancing, and eating outside can reduce your risk.

“We are doing this this year so that we don’t have an empty seat at the table next year," said Doctor Catherine Troisi, an infectious disease epidemiologist at UTHealth School of Public Health. “It’s very hard for humans to understand risk. Things that we may have done in the summer when the number of cases were low, like go to a grocery store, might be risky because the number of cases in the community are so much higher, and that’s very hard for us to get psychologically.”

The Yashtala family said sacrificing their privacy is not dampening their spirits.

“I think the most important thing is that you’re together and I think that it’s about being together as a family and family is also about loving and protecting one another," Yashtala said.