As COVID-19 cases continue to be on the rise in the Hudson Valley, local politicians are urging residents to alter Thanksgiving plans.

Health experts have already been urging families to consider scaling back their annual family get-togethers this holiday season. Dr. Anthony Fauci announced last month that he will not be spending Thanksgiving with his children. Other doctors and medical experts have expressed similar concerns, saying that they are breaking with tradition and sitting Thanksgiving out.

In New York State, Governor Cuomo is prohibiting private gatherings of over 10 people. The new restriction is part of a series of new guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro says he's not into "counting" family members but agrees with Cuomo in placing the blame of local cases on family gatherings. During an interview Monday morning on 101.5 WPDH's Boris and Robyn Show, the County Executive urged residents to "keep it small."

Molinaro suggested that families not invite out-of-town family members to the Thanksgiving dinner table this year. "If you have family members that you have interacted with regularly, and they... have followed the basic guidelines, that is a group you should feel comfortable with." Otherwise, the Dutchess County Executive suggests making the tough decision to not get together with family members you don't see every day, even if that includes parents or siblings. Molinaro himself will not be celebrating with his in-laws as he usually does, opting instead for a small gathering with his immediate family.

The hope, says Molinaro, is that by making sacrifices now we can avoid getting back to the situation we were in the spring. Wearing a mask, not going to work when you're sick and socially distancing will go a long way to keeping businesses open and avoiding the state bringing back more restrictions.

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