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Montgomery County Leaders Urging People To Change Their Thanksgiving Plans

Father Benjamin Speare-Hardy, Rector of St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Trotwood.
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Father Benjamin Speare-Hardy, Rector of St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Trotwood

As COVID-19 cases surge, Montgomery County’s political, religious and public health leaders are calling for residents to change their Thanksgiving celebrations this year.

Father Benjamin Speare-Hardy, Rector of St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Trotwood, has been performing services over webcam since March. He says celebrating Thanksgiving virtually is a small sacrifice to make to keep each other healthy.

“There will be another Thanksgiving, this is not the last," he said during a meeting of public leaders today held on Zoom. "But we have to exercise every precaution that has been given to us by Public Health and do what we can to make sure that we are safe.”

Jeff Cooper, Dayton and Montgomery County’s Public Health Commissioner,
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Jeff Cooper, Dayton and Montgomery County’s Public Health Commissioner,

Ohio Public Health data shows there’s an average of 283 coronavirus cases reported in Montgomery County every day, and that number is expected to rise. Jeff Cooper, Dayton and Montgomery County’s Public Health Commissioner, says he feels some reserved optimism that locals will practice safe habits over Thanksgiving weekend.

“I think if we all take a step back and be honest with ourselves it’s ultimately about protecting others," Cooper says. "As we define what we value in life, and who we hold dear, I have confidence that our community will make the right decisions and will do what’s necessary to protect their loved ones.”

Officials suggest that if families do celebrate with people from other households, they wear masks, social distance, and try to eat outdoors.