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COVID-19: Area Sheriff Says 'Use Your Best Judgement' On Thanksgiving

Putnam County Sheriff Robert Langley is encouraging families to use their best judgment on Thanksgiving gatherings.
Putnam County Sheriff Robert Langley is encouraging families to use their best judgment on Thanksgiving gatherings. Photo Credit: Pixabay

When it comes to friends and families gathering to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, Putnam County Sheriff Robert Langley is only asking that hosts take proper precautions and “use their own best judgment” to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, Nov. 11, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order that limited indoor gatherings in a private residence to no more than 10 people, which went into effect on Friday, Nov. 13, throwing disarray into many Thanksgiving plans.

In response, there was some defiance and backlash, with some upstate sheriffs proclaiming that they would not enforce the new edict, and that Thanksgiving traditions transcend the governor’s order.

Langley took a more nonresistant approach, saying that while he won’t encourage people to host large gatherings in their homes, he simply wants Thanksgiving celebrations to be held responsibly.

“Would a gathering of 11 people be a greater danger than a gathering of 10, or would a gathering of nine people be substantially less dangerous,” he questioned. “I’m not certain of what the correct number for safety would be and doubt if anyone does.”

According to Langley, there are many factors to take into consideration about how many people should be at any one gathering, including whether any guests are high-risk for COVID-19, where they are traveling from, if they are already in a group of close contacts, and is the host’s home large enough to accommodate the guests safely.

Langley said that “those are questions (he) believes each family needs to answer themselves.”

“Rather than issuing orders, which are, at best, impossible to enforce, and, at worst, unconstitutional, the governor would better serve the people of New York if he encouraged our citizens to be cautious,” Langley added.

“Use good judgment in weighing risk factors, protect the vulnerable, and enjoy our families and our great gathering traditions only in ways that are safe, until we get back to normal," he said. “As Sheriff, I see a better use of our resources than to disrupt families celebrating this national holiday.” 

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