Zoom and Microsoft Teams allowing unlimited video calls on Thanksgiving

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Thanksgiving is one day away.

The usual things that we’re use to like delicious food and family fun aren’t possible for some people thanks to COVID-19.

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The CDC and the Shelby County Health Department both are begging people to stay home and avoid big Thanksgiving gatherings.

“This is a very challenging time and it’s critical that we continue the course and focus really on individual decision making, decisions for our family and decisions for our communities,” said Dr. Alisa Haushlter, Shelby County Health Department Director.

Just because it’s recommended that you don’t have the usual Thanksgiving celebrations, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Thanksgiving with your family.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams are taking away their time limits on Thanksgiving.

You will be able to talk to your family for as long as you want without any extra charges.

Zoom allows up to 100 participants while Teams supports up to 49 people.

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Here are some things to think about if you plan on having a virtual Thanksgiving:

  • Make sure all family members are familiar with the platform your using and have a working camera so everyone can see the smiling faces.
  • Think about using your phone or laptop to move around and still be comfortable.
  • When you schedule the meeting, send the link to family members so they can have easy access. Participants will not need to download the apps.
  • Set up a waiting room so you can confirm that nobody is a part of the meeting that isn’t invited.
  • Zoom allows participants to set up side rooms called Zoom Rooms. In Zoom Rooms, separate parties can happen while the main party is taking place.
  • You can set the room up for kids or for family members doing different activities like watching Thanksgiving football or cooking their own meals.
  • Even though this is not the way we traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving, think about recording the meeting or taking pictures throughout the virtual gathering. These could end up being memories that you look back on fondly.
  • The most important tip is to have fun and enjoy every second with your family.