Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - On this Thanksgiving Day, a message of thanks from Olmsted County Director of Public Health Graham Briggs.

He recorded this video to send a thank-you message to the community in appreciation of collective efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Also, Olmsted County Public Health Services has launched a new campaign -- “Think Ahead Olmsted” -- to help flatten the curve and promote safe holiday activities at a time when COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are spiking across the state. The timing of Think Ahead Olmsted coincides with new statewide restrictions on social activities and gatherings -- both indoors and outdoors -- with people beyond your immediate household.

Think Ahead Olmsted is about creating awareness and inspiring communication about ways to stay safe during the holidays. Think Ahead Olmsted is designed to inform, engage and entertain community residents and provide ideas and alternatives.

As positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise, it is increasingly important to follow guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) -- including the new statewide restrictions announced last week. All of these measures are vital to keeping yourself and your family, friends, co-workers, and community healthy and safe. This includes refraining from gathering with anyone outside of your immediate household throughout the holiday season, whether indoors or outdoors, even if physical distancing can be maintained.

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“The actions we all take together this holiday season can help us protect the health and safety of all of our residents,” said Director of OCPHS Graham Briggs. “Pandemic fatigue is very real and we are seeing it not only in our community, but around the country. This is a critical time. We all need to do our part and seriously follow the guidelines so we can slow the spread.”

The public is encouraged to enjoy the holiday season in a different way this year and as safely as possible:

  • Stay home and do not physically gather with anyone outside of your immediate household.
  • Reach out (virtually) and talk to someone. Call or text relatives, friends, or neighbors.
  • Organize virtual family gatherings and games over the internet.
    Mail special greetings to friends and family.

Remember that protecting our community including family, friends, coworkers and neighbors is a collective responsibility. We need families to think ahead to ensure a safe holiday season. We all need to do our part to keep our families and community safe.

For more ideas on how to celebrate the holidays safely this season, visit

For more information regarding COVID-19, visit the Olmsted County website.

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