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Despite ‘freeze,’ some C. Oregonians still plan big Thanksgiving celebrations

'We welcome anybody that wants to join, including any state agent' -- but St. Charles official insists the danger is real: 'This is not overplayed'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Some Central Oregonians say they'll celebrate the holidays as usual, against the advice, even urgent pleas of local, state and federal health officials to keep Thanksgiving gatherings very small.

That includes Scott Stuart of Eagle Crest.

"We're having a family Thanksgiving, having all of our family over," he said Monday. "And we welcome anybody that wants to join, including any state agent that wants to come in."

In an email to NewsChannel 21, Stuart wrote, "Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to join together without masks, social distancing or lockdowns."

"No public servant has the right to determine what you or your family can do during this holiday season," he added.

Stuart said he's not worried about the virus.

"I have not worn a mask since this whole thing began," he said. "I was concerned about it, at first -- I think everyone was."

Gary Moss, who lives in Deschutes County also said he isn't changing his plans for the holiday.

"My plans for Thanksgiving are to have thanksgiving in the way that we've had for years," Moss said. "It's a family tradition. We get together, we have large numbers, we celebrate."

Ross said some in his family had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the year, and he feels people should make their own choices.

"I think that I have concern for those that are at risk, and I would not want to put anyone at risk," he said. "But for our family, and for those who have a desire to gather, they should be free to do that."

Health care workers, including those at St Charles Bend, are concerned about being overwhelmed by a continued rise in cases.

"This is not overplayed," said St. Charles Chief Chief Physician Executive Dr. Jeffery Absalon. "We want to take care of our community, and when patients require hospitalization or an intensive level of care, we want to do it in the safest way possible"

Absalon said that Monday morning, the Bend hospital was at 90 percent capacity, which he said is about 20 percent higher than usual.

"To start the day with these kind of numbers, to start the week with these kind of numbers means things are going to be tight," he said.

Absalon said even if you don't have underlying conditions, you should still take precautions, since so many cases of the infectious virus are asymptomatic, at least to start.

"The reality is that anybody can get extremely ill from COVID-19," he said.

Bend / Central Oregon / Top Stories
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Blake Allen

Blake Allen is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.



        1. anonymousktvz I find it interesting that neither you or Kate Brown or any of the CO PEACEFAKERS BLM wannabees or most of the Leftist Hacks commenting on this fake news channel are even from Oregon. Yet you flee the crappy place you were raised come here tell us all how to live and then tell us to leave. Apparently its coming out that the whole National and Oregon voting program is rigged to favor Leftists.. Watching your leaders lie, cheat, steal and destroy all that is good disgusts us. Your claims that Patriots are racists disgusts me and you are a liar. You must keep a Marxist book under your pillow on how to lie, cheat and steal your way to a Marxist Commie controlled United States. The people who are the resistance to your plans are growing exponentially thanks to you, thanks to people like you the people are waking up so many thanks to your covetousness, envious minions and your Fascist Governor. We will not comply, we will not be ruled, we will not give up and we will not let you win.

    1. However if you have any common sense at all – if you are sick with anything you should stay home – and that was true (gasp) even before the scary virus and before the politicians began saying so – or is it that you need to be told rather than think for yourself????

      1. No its little scotty stuart that is too stupid to take care of himself. That’s why he would rather fail with his dear leader, big fat fired donnie!!! ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!

  1. Really? how ya gonna feel if you kill off grandma? It’s one stupid holiday that’s only about stuffing yourself and watching football. how many have you been to? you can’t possibly miss one? Good luck and I hope my son doesn’t marry one of your daughters, because I don’t want your genes in my bloodline!

    1. I figure we have 3 choices. 1. Give up our freedom as Americans living behind masks forced to comply by an increasingly tyrannical government. 2. Become part of medical experiment trusting a vaccine that is less than a year old. 3. Trust herd immunity and our immune systems. But in the meantime the difference of ideology between left and those on the right is beyond reconciliation. Imagine how great life would be with both sides dividing up the country and living apart.

      1. Small minded people like you are the problem. Temporary closures not really hard burying a loved one is. Go ahead with your choices there’s only one in my book. I love having my mom around.

        1. Wearing a mask will be litigated in the courts as a breach of one’s 1st amendment right to freedom of speech, although that seems like an odd form of it I understand. However, anytime the government tells one to wear something, not wear something, say something, not say something, it becomes categorized under the 1st Amendment Freedom of Speech, which has been interpreted incredibly broadly by the Supreme Court. We’ll see what happens with masks….Maybe the Nazis argued the same….how is making Jews wear a simply armband giving up their freedom?? To be decided in the courts…..

      2. I choose number three, because that’s the only real option. Mother nature will take its course, regardless of how many times Kate Brown shames us into wearing masks.

        1. I wonder why you don’t want to do something so simple to keep yourself and others safe without being told to do so. Did your parents not teach you the golden rule or that you are your brother’s keeper? Do you hate people so much that you don’t care how many are infected or die?

    2. If Grandma, by her own decision, chooses to assemble with the people she loves, she has the right to take that risk. Grandma has the right to take risks she values as the quality of her life is more important than the risk of death. Grandma may not have many Thanksgivings left, and the grandchildren get a year older every year.

      Kate Brown does not have the authority to impose Kate Brown’s will upon Grandma by governmental edict. If you are scared of Grandma, or anyone else, you have the right to take appropriate (or inappropriate) actions to safeguard yourself

      First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    3. The Thanksgiving holiday is when families and friends come together to express gratitude for one other, celebrate our personal liberties afforded under the Constitution, and appreciate our forefathers establishing this great country for us. How dare an elected official try to exercise such an abuse of power.

  2. Make Thanksgiving Superspreaders Again
    Bunch of repubs giving the Rona this holiday giving season, that’s for sure.

    Next week Oregon will hit 2500 and Deschutes will top 100 easily, and it will all be these people right here. No mystery about it.

  3. Hope all the family members they celebrate Thanksgiving with are still here for Christmas. Of course, that would give Scott and Gary another chance at being superspreaders.

      1. You know what I’m tired of? That some people don’t understand, admit, or care that “taking their chances” actually changes the chances for other people.

        1. Actually it doesn’t, but if you are correct and it does – where does it stop? Why stop with the scary virus? Let’s carry it to the regular flu, or anything else that we can catch and possilby die from – you pick – how far do we carry this?

          1. Depends on the illness. Would you feel good about people walking around with smallpox?

            Flu doesn’t transmit well at all without symptoms. COVID-19 does. Flu hospital stays are far shorter than COVID-19 stays and rarely tend to overwhelm hospitals. COVID-19 is already doing so.

            Why should different illnesses get the exact same response?

          2. Of course it does, Century01, but as to where to stop, I’d never suggest it’s up to me. I don’t think it’s up to you or the people quoted in the article, either. The Oregon legislature—elected by all of us—has given the Governor the authority to make the decision (and kept for itself the power to overrule her), so until someone shows that delegation or her use of it was illegal, her order is where it stops. You might cry out about “sheep,” and “socialism,” but I have no problem with people bringing legal challenges to her order. Just deciding to ignore it, though? That’s a call for anarchy. You may not agree with every aspect of how I see is as a society, but you can’t dispute that we depend on the rule of law. Sometimes that means not liking some of the rules.

            1. “The Oregon legislature—elected by all of us—has given the Governor the authority to make the decision- so until someone shows that delegation or her use of it was illegal…”
              ….. You can stop right there ! Crook County Sheriff Gautney has made it very clear- Kate Brown’s authority has limits-that stop with the US Constitution ! His bold statement is based on Law not political affiliation ! It is now time for the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Department to make a stand against Brown’s over-reach and tyranny ! Crook County has spoken !

          3. Exactly… Life is dangerous, and while I don’t have any statistics
            to prove it, I’m fairly certain that there is a higher risk of being
            injured or killed when driving, than there is contracting the virus…
            When the virus first got started, I said that the masks and protocols
            would eventually become the new normal,and that has happened, and I don’t
            see any realistic end in sight.
            Even some of the so called experts are now saying that they don’t think
            the virus will ever be completely eradicated…

      2. Fine, then you should sign the equivalent of a DNR, and not clog up the hospitals with your poor, weak decisions. I spent more time deployed overseas than we have been in log down. Snowflakes whining about “muh liburty” when told what to do…

        1. Why should I sign a DNR ? Did I say that I was one of the people that are tired
          of the rules and masks ? No, I didn’t say one way or the other, but for some reason people continually misinterpret simple comments. I guess I was one of the people clogging up the hospitals, because I already had it several months ago…

          If you did serve, thank you for your service, but the time you spent deployed
          is completely different than what is going on with the virus. You knew what
          it was going to be like when you signed up, and having to follow orders is
          part of it…
          It’s a little different being given orders by someone that has no authority,
          and it’s even worse when some of the people that are giving the orders don’t
          adhere to them. We’ve seen several politicians recently that completely ignored
          the protocols that they themselves implemented…

        1. Excuse me, but the governments–city, county, state and federal DO, in fact, tell us what to do in many ways. City ordinances, B&O taxes, building permit fees, speed limits, labor laws, and on and on and on…

          If people decide that they don’t like “da gub’ment” and choose not to obey laws, regulations, ordinances, etc. then what you end up with is anarchy. And unless you’re a survivalist living in a remote area with food, guns and ammo that will last for years, you really DON’T want anarchy.

    1. You’re right. Nobody can enforce caring for others. It’s something you should have been taught by your parents. For the general good and to protect as many people as possible, the governor steps in where your parents failed.

  4. Pity the hospital can’t refuse medical treatment for those who disregard safety precautions.

    But the bigger pity is …people will be exposed to C19

    I have zero respect for those mentioned in this article. Careless irresponsible examples of humanity.

    1. Hostile Hill Girl- Your kids are not in school because you allowed the Dictator in Salem to run roughshod all over your rights and civil liberties ! The science is proven- has been since April- that children are not adversely affected by this virus. The seasonal flu, cars, lack of social contact, and isolation are more deadly ! The data don’t lie- but you sure as hell try to !

  5. barneygetshiswish says:
    May 21, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    I for one am on record as not buying into any of this Wuhan virus hoax- nothing more than an excuse for Democrat Governors nationwide to attack both our economy and civil liberties !

    1. barneygetshiswish says:
      May 21, 2020 at 8:16 am
      Dem Gov Brown made a seriously bad calculation- clearly not based on science- but instead on girly hysterics because of what she perceived in in Washington and what the radical left wing media was selling her- it all proved to be completely wrong- now the fall-out !

      1. Excellent re-post from what I stated back in May ! So here we have a perfect prediction… I said Brown has made a serious miscalculation- not based on science- for if she had- the state’s China Virus numbers- on her watch- would have decreased like what we’ve seen in Asia. Instead- Brown has been at the helm for record numbers of new cases- fatalities- outbreaks- with no end in sight- while all of America and Oregon keep their fingers crossed waiting for President Trump’s Warp Speed project to save millions-! To be forever known as “The Trump Vaccine” ! Truly worthy of another Nobel Peace Prize nomination !

    2. Well done Flippy ! I’ve told people time and time again about what I’ve posted in the past- now the Flipster delivers the concrete evidence- proving that what I posted way back in May- just after Kate Brown shut down the economy and stated that this was the cure for what ails the virus. I was very clear- that her irrational response-strategy-nonsense- was a complete scam- and a hoax. Now… here we are 6 months later- and instead of numbers decreasing like Kate promised- the numbers have tripled- well into daily record territory- and instead of Kate admitting what she’s done- she’s doubling down- going after more of our civil liberties- trying now to invade our homes- send out her snitches- use Oregon police like Nazi brownshirt thugs to terrorize our children while they sleep ! Good work Flippy- greatly appreciate the support- just keep em comin’ !

  6. Good for you, keep fighting for your civil rights! Hey, what happened to the article that Bend 21 News post from CNN “Trump allows Biden transition to proceed, but won’t concede?” Top and speedy story posted yesterday and now it’s gone. Just want to point out how fast the news like you are to twist Trump’s words and lie to people. He is still fighting and has not given up like you are trying so hard to make people believe. He is fighting for this country. Biden & Harris cheated and their followers know and don’t care, they are part of the corruption. The news, Facebook, Twitter are all behind the corruption. Emily Murphy and her family are being harassed and threatened by the democrats and telling her to make Biden president. When Sidney Powell explained how the cheating was done, the news stations refuse to put that on but instead talked about canceling Thanksgiving. Facebook censored anything too. Twitter just froze Sidney Powell’s account, they don’t want their sheep to think differently. Evil! This is how bad you people are. You have so much hatred and you blame Trump and everyone for your own created sad life. Trump 2020, Trump’s kids 2024. Tucker explains it well here. Wake up you turkeys!

    1. LOL. Even the Rudy G. Circus decided that the Powell conspiracy was a little over the top for most Americans to digest. Well, at least you were able to figure out that we here n Oregon don’t really care about what the Governor of California is doing in his free time. Maybe you should check out Idaho, just a suggestion for your happiness with life….

    2. You should read the new book “Cult of Trump”. There is help out there for its members. There are some really nice people out here in reality when your ready to put the koolaid down. Jonestown was real…cult of Trump just as real and dangerous. Your neighbors aren’t your enemies.

    3. What do liberals want us to believe, that just because more of the country leans Democrat that somehow it’s possible that they had more votes?

      That’s lunacy! It must be a vast and complex interstate conspiracy!

    4. fatmama123, you don’t seem like you’re a very nice person. I (almost) feel bad for those who are stuck being around you.
      There was no “cheating” and you are an idiot.

    5. Senate Republicans used the Nov election as a reason not to impeach Trump. Leave to the electorate to decide, they said, and 80M Americans did just that – we fired his Lardship. Repeating Trump’s lies that weaken our democracy, thereby showing disloyalty to our country while endorsing a coup by a dictator wannabe, proves what a fauxtriot you are.

  7. I would rather die a free man on my feet than a vassal on my knees to a tyrannical government edict designed to remove my freedoms.
    Who is afraid of a manufactured disease with a mortality rate less than the common flu?
    Less than 1% mortality rate?
    I wont change my life or hide under my bed with a mask on for that…..never.
    Hell, the mortality rate on 97 this year makes the Wuhan flu look like a flea bite but nobody is shutting the highway…

      1. People should be free to make their own independent medical and life decisions, not have the government force them or tell them what to do. One’s health is one’s own concern, and I should not be forced to protect your health, nor you mine.

        1. You are free to make your own decisions. Do you really think anyone is going to to break down your door for gathering in numbers? You also CAN unzip and let fly all over the Thanksgiving table, hit on your sister-in-law, fight with your father-in-law, kick the family dog etc. Hopefully your loved ones enjoy your decisions as much as you do.

        2. There are actions covered by the rule of law, but are you anarchist enough to stop doing other things that keep others safe? Maybe stop using your turn signal while driving? After all, you know where you’re going. Maybe disconnect your brake lights too. Remove that fence from around your pool. Keep an unsecured loaded firearm in your house. What type of human being has to be “forced” to care about others? Apparently, you.

    1. And yet, if you go shopping in a store, you WILL wear a mask. You don’t have a choice. No mask, no entry. That’s a “government edict”, as you call it. Are you really going to try and enter a store maskless and then flip out when an employee asks you to mask up or leave?

  8. One more thing! I don’t drink alcohol so it does not bother me, but Pennsylvania will ban alcohol sales the day before Thanksgiving. Democratic states slowly taking your rights away. When the turkeys realized they voted for Thanksgiving.-Candace Owens

    1. That’s funny, since Trump had the Constitution printed on his toilet paper. I’ve never seen a President care so little about our founding principles.

      In case you didn’t notice, Trump wanted to be a dictator. So when you say “freedom”, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

      1. It is really funny the perspective – because Trump is all about supporting the constitution, all of it, even the parts you don’t like which is why he has so many detractors…..

        1. Please. I’d lay good money down that he can’t even spell the word correctly. Have some respect too comrade. The Constitution is important in this country. That being the case, we capitalize it.

  9. Maybe if St Charles would process their patients rather than make them wait. I remember one visit to the emergency room, before the scary virus, where it took 32 minutes (actually timed it) to get a glass of water for the patient on the bed, after she said no problem, while the nurses all visited in the nurses station visible from most of the rooms. Another time after waiting for a nurse to bring water the doctor actually went and got it when he found out we had been waiting so long. Hard to feel sympathy for the staff or believe they are getting overwhelmed when we can watch them not working.

        1. Considering St Charles is the only hospital in the state with any ICU beds available and it’s the only game in town anyway, better hope you stay healthy. If you do have to go, might want to take a bottle of water with you.

      1. Not lies, I worked there for 3 decades and because of the union, most RN’s don’t really take care of patients like they should .I personally witnessed some completely ignoring call light and continue BSing with co-workers.

    1. Were you not capable of standing up and walking 3 feet over to the sink and getting the water for the patient? Or maybe even walking a few yards to the nurses station? Nurses are servants.

      1. Nurses are paid to do a job. When the nurse said “I will get that for you” one would assume that is what will happen. If the nurse said “it is right over there” it would have been really easy to do. The rest of the story is that with HIPA rules and regulations the general population is not supposed to be wandering around the hospital for patient privacy issues and I have been involved in the medical industry enough to know that, which you apparently are not. Also one of the reasons you have be buzzed in through a door to visit a patient and most likely escorted to their room.

  10. Nobody will die from his family Thanksgiving. Your life will not be affected. Liberals are mad because they bought into the covid lie and others are moving on. 1% infection rate, over 99.5% recovery rate, keep drinking the kool aid.

  11. Good for you for exercising your constitutional right, both state and federal, to gather peacefully together. Have an enjoyable, safe Thanksgiving and thank you for standing up to the tyrannical nature of our current government.

  12. In our case grandma is dying and knows it, so at the age of 82 she has chosen to spend Thanksgiving with family, call her selfish if it makes you feel better but we will make her last wishes come true and memories with her, KB can…. well do what KB will do. Maybe let everyone make their own decision’s, as far as I know this is still a free country, at least for now.

  13. Didn’t change my family plans. Some opted out. But no way are my kids not welcome in my home, ever. No matter what anyone says. St Charles is 90% full of patients with heart issues, liver problems and other normal things. Just stop the elective surgeries and the hospital would be empty. There are only 4 Covid patients at St Charles now. Stop the fear with numbers.

      1. 3 in ICU out of 24 ICU beds. Just stop the elective surgeries and you’ll have room. 90% full but not 90% Covid. The Doctors and Nurses there are doing a great job with Covid Patients. Its not the death sentence that it is in NYC.

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