LONDON, ONT -- It’s a simple but clear message for this Thanksgiving weekend by the medical officer of health at the Middlesex-London Health Unit, Dr. Chris Mackie.

“The best choice will be to avoid gathering with anyone outside of your household this Thanksgiving”

Mackie didn’t stop there, he also had a message for students. “We are really encouraging post secondary students not to travel for Thanksgiving. What’s happened in the universities is a huge risk for grandma and grandpa, and anyone with chronic disease or anyone of advanced age.”

Last night, president of Western University, Dr. Alan Shepard, echoed the health unit recommendations in an email encouraging students not to travel, especially to COVID-19 hot spots in the province such as the GTA and Ottawa.

The recommendation is also something the health unit is asking all London residents to try to avoid.

“We really want to make sure our students are aware of the advice and guidance of our colleagues at MLHU so they can take this into consideration and re-evaluate any plans they may have had in place,” says Jennie Massey, VP of student experience at Western.

CTV spoke to a number of students on campus today, the vast majority didn’t want to go on camera.

Despite Dr. Shepard’s email last night, the students we spoke to told CTV they won’t be canceling their Thanksgiving plans. “I was tested and I did a covid test and I was negative so I think I’m safe to do it and I will be isolating with only my family,” says a first year law student who didn’t want to disclose his identity.

Massey says this is a tough time for students, especially first year ones who look forward to returning to family after being away from home for the first time.

“I think care and compassion for all of our young people during this really unprecedented and highly complex time is important.”

Mackie adds there are still ways to stay connect to family this thanksgiving, by being creative “There are virtual party app that can make it easy for you, so there’s an app for that. Let’s start using some of these creative solutions.”