MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As three viruses impact our health care system, health officials urge people to think twice before gathering for the holidays.

While Thanksgiving is known for bringing people together, one Mid-South health practitioner is asking you to consider the risk before gathering.

Regina Goulder of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare says, “People want to see their families they haven’t seen. A lot of people, unfortunately, will go sick because they want to see them. That’s where we put our loved ones at risk.”

Despite a reduction in coronavirus cases, the flu and RSV are on the rise across the country.

With the respiratory viruses spreading, Goulder says it’s important not to let your guard down.

“If you feel ill, do not go around those other family members because you do put them at risk,” said Goulder.

Memphis International Airport is projecting that 80,000 people will pass through for the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a number they have not seen since before the pandemic. 

For those traveling to see family, doctors recommend you wear a mask while gathering. If you are immunocompromised, social distance when possible. Also, remember to wash your hands.

These are all tips that have become a staple since the pandemic.

“There’s a safe way to be together and we have to remember that. These viruses are prevalent, we still have to avoid them. They are dangerous,” said Goulder.

Doctors recommend you are all caught up on vaccinations before coming together. For more information on where to get vaccines, click here