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NYS says no large gatherings, are people listening

Thanksgiving Dinner
Posted at 11:59 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 23:59:55-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Earlier this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo put a ten person limit on indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences. On Thursday, Erie County asked people to limit Thanksgiving gatherings to members of your household.

The message is getting a mixed response.

Comments on 7 Eyewitness News' Facebook page include people saying they will have 12, even 30, people over at Thanksgiving. Some are daring leaders to stop them.

Gloria Simpson of Amherst said she usually hosts about 20 people at her house for Thanksgiving, but this year will just be having immediate family.

“The way I’m feeling is that we the people, we can control better if everyone would obey, and wear their masks, and social distance, and cut down on those large parties," Simpson said.

CDC and state and local officials are also advising people to avoid holiday travel.

Erie County's positivity rate more than tripled in a month. The week ending October 10th had a 1.5% rate, and the week ending November 7th had a 4.6% positivity rate, according to numbers from Erie County.

In an interview with 7 Eyewitness News, Kathy Hochul said parts of Erie County are close to being in the orange zone.

“It is now occurring more likely in peoples homes or their own private gatherings, where people take the mask off and they feel like 'well this is my friend, this is my relative, of course they wouldn’t have the virus,' and in fact they do,” Hochul said.

People 7 Eyewitness News spoke with from across Erie County said most people do wear masks in public, especially in stores. Adhering to COVID-19 restrictions in private settings was where people said the guidelines are not as closely followed.

“Aww man, I’ve seen a lot of, heard a lot of gatherings and stuff where they don’t wear masks and everything," said Jacob Parkhurst of the City of Tonawanda, "It’s half and half almost.”

Hochul said there's no set number that would cause Erie County to be an orange zone.