CALGARY -- As rates of confirmed COVID-19 cases reach all-time highs in Alberta and in various places across the country, public officials have asked households to serve an extra dose of caution with their turkey dinner this Thanksgiving weekend.

The Calgary Emergency Management Association (CEMA) has broken it down into three parts: the space, the size and the serving.

Outdoors is best, perhaps gathered around a backyard fire or heat source on a covered patio, according to Sue Henry, deputy chief of CEMA.

“Anytime you can be outdoors with more ventilation and more airflow the risk is dramatically different than being inside,” she said.

Sue Henry

Henry also said guests should be limited to immediate family or cohort, which she defined as a small group of people who have committed to knowing one another’s contact risks when gathering.

She added that dishing out the meal should be done differently this thanksgiving.

“Now is not the time for a buffet dinner, now is the time to designate one person to be the server and to plate everybody’s dinner for them.”

Shoppers outside a downtown grocery store told CTV news Friday that their holiday plans also had safety in mind.

“I’m going with my wife to Fernie to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, we will have two turkey thighs,” said Gord Graham “we’ll be FaceTiming a few friends but there will be no gatherings. I am making a point of being safe and I want to keep it that way.”

Others say keeping case counts low is a collective responsibility.

“I know that if (people) don’t (follow the rules) it will just continue to expand, my fingers are crossed that everybody will continue to do that,” said Jane Kelly.

Turkey tips for your Thanksgiving dinner

As Edmonton grapples with a distinct rise in coronavirus cases, Dr. Deena Hinshaw is recommending that indoor gatherings in that city to not stretch beyond 15 guests this weekend.

Premier Jason Kenney echoed the chief medical officer on Friday.

“The smaller the group the less the risk and its just a question of common sense.”

It’s more severe in Ontario.

Premier Doug Ford has announced a new list of restrictions that take effect Saturday including a shutdown of indoor dining at bars and restaurants and indoor fitness centres — virtually eliminating the option of dining out for a Thanksgiving meal.

“I didn't sleep last night. Believe me, this weighs heavy on me for making this decision. I know what this will do to businesses who are already struggling,” Ford said during a briefing on Friday.

Justin Trudeau

Prime Minster Justin Trudeau pleaded with Canadians to make sure the country doesn’t go past a “tipping point.”

“What we do now will shape the numbers we see in two weeks and set us hopefully on the right track for family gatherings at Christmas.”