BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As we celebrate Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season, health officials are becoming more anxious about how holiday gatherings could impact our COVID-19 rates.

For Campbell and his family, Thursday was about the turkey, but his mother Ashlee knows there are other things to be aware of.

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“Making sure that we’re washing our hands all the time, that we’re trying to stay away from other people were using masks as often as we can,” said Ashlee.

As many families gathered together for Thanksgiving, doctors worry this holiday’s gatherings could contribute to a spike in new cases.

“There are already surges across the northeast and the north,” said Dr. Megan Ranney.

In Baltimore, children under 10 are experiencing the highest rates of new COVID-19 cases. The city’s overall transmission rates are also on the rise and it’s why Baltimore is not lifting its indoor mask mandate.

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With the ongoing risks, the Garcia family kept it safe this Thanksgiving bringing the festivities outdoors.

“We walked here so we didn’t take any kind of other transportation or try and gather with other people,” said Angel.

And they kept their Thanksgiving meal to a minimum with immediate family only.

“It just felt right to keep it small,” Angel added.

“We’re getting close to the end of the fight but we can’t afford to stop now,” said Mayor Brandon Scott.

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As the first Thanksgiving gathering in a year for many, this family says now more than ever that they are grateful to be healthy!

Annie Rose Ramos