To travel or not to travel?

That is a question that is causing a lot of angst this Thanksgiving as Americans wrestle with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health experts around the country are nearly unified in their recommendation that we forego family gatherings this holiday season, in the hopes of cutting down on the spread of coronavirus.

Even politicians in various places throughout the United States are implementing policies that will severely limit the size and scope of get-togethers in 2020.

So will the masses heed the warnings or will the traditional family turkey day celebrations continue?

To find out, the New York Times enlisted the help of the survey firm Dynata to see where people are most likely to be altering their Thanksgiving plans this year.

Of the more than 150,000 people surveyed, fewer than a third (27%) said they plan to dine with people outside their household in 2020.

As a state, an average of 28 percent of South Dakotans say they are sharing Thanksgiving with others this year. That's right in the middle - 25th out of the 50 states.

People in Louisiana and Oklahoma (35%) lead the way, while less than 20 percent of residents in the state of Washington and Washington DC will breaking bread outside of anyone other than their household members.

New York Times/Mapbox

Broken down further, here are the percentages of people in ten of South Dakota's largest cities who say they will be eating with others outside of their households this Thanksgiving:

  • Pierre - 35%
  • Rapid City - 35%
  • Aberdeen - 30%
  • Yankton - 30%
  • Vermillion - 30%
  • Watertown - 28%
  • Huron - 27%
  • Mitchell - 26%
  • Brookings - 24%
  • Sioux Falls - 24%

The highest percentage of all cities and towns in the Mount Rushmore State is the tiny northwestern town of Camp Crook, where 37% of their 64 people will be enjoying Thanksgiving with others outside their household. The lowest percentages are in Chester and Madison (23%).

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