From DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: A big thank you to all veterans, a plea for small gatherings, and COVID-19 help for all Idahoans

You may not realize it, but Wednesday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day. It’s a very special day that often gets overlooked in the range of holidays throughout the year.

Many of our family, friends, and neighbors serve or have served in the armed forces. I want to thank all veterans for the many sacrifices you’ve made in service to our country. That is a sacred duty, and I am grateful for it.

There are several businesses that offer special benefits and deals to veterans on Nov. 11. See the links below for more information:

Please do your part

The nation and Idaho are seeing some consistently alarming increases in COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations across Idaho. Please do your part to protect yourself and others from the virus that causes COVID-19.

This virus is tricky because it may not cause symptoms for some people but is still very contagious. This is often referred to as asymptomatic spread, which means those who are infected don’t know they are and spread it to others who aren’t as lucky.

This will become even more important as we plan our holiday family gatherings. I’m not naive enough to think we will all stay home and not get together with family and loved ones. It might feel strange and off-putting to wear a mask with your extended family members in a family home. But making that small sacrifice to protect those who are closest to us will protect them, particularly those who are at high risk of severe disease.

There are ways to gather safely during the upcoming holidays, and I implore you to follow the guidelines and wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart as much as possible, wash your hands often, and stay home if you feel sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has several tips for how to gather safely for the holidays, as well as risk factors to consider as you plan your gatherings.

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