Recently, we put up a poll asking Bozeman residents if their plans for the holidays have changed due to COVID-19. This year, may families are taking extra precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 amongst their families and loved ones.

With new cases of COVID-19 spiking in most states, many people are deciding to avoid gathering with family members. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that in-person gatherings pose varying levels of risk, and that celebrating virtually or with members of your own household poses low risk for spread of COVID-19.

My family has made to decision to not get together for the Holidays for the first time in my life. My parents live in Idaho. I have a brother that lives in California, and a brother that lives in Missouri. Both of them have wives and children. My father is a stage 4 cancer survivor, and as a result is immunocompromised. My family is incredibly important to me, and I wouldn't want to do anything to put their lives in danger. I understand that all families don't share the same concern, but my family is taking every precaution to avoid getting infected with COVID-19, even if that means not spending time together during the holidays.

Deciding to avoid Holiday gatherings with family isn't an easy decision to make. I get sad every time I think about the reality of it. It's not ideal, but either are the number of COVID-19 cases in Montana and Idaho. I will definitely miss spending time with my family, and hope for brighter days ahead.

The decision my family made may not work for all families, but until COVID-19 cases get under control, we've decided that it works best for us.

Thanks to everyone that took time to vote in our poll and let us know how your and your family are adjusting holiday plans in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, not many people responded to the poll. Out of the 17 people that responded, over 58% said that their families are not changing plans this holiday season. Nearly 30% said that they are taking precautions and may not gather for the holidays. 11.76 % of voters are still undecided.

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The poll is still active if you'd like to chime in. You can vote below.