CDC Recommends People Not Travel To Visit Their Families For Thanksgiving

CDC Recommends People Not Travel To Visit Their Families For Thanksgiving

It has put up guidelines where it asked people to "modify their holiday plans" through virtual gatherings and other measures for the safety of their loved ones

Around this time of the year, many people travel to be with their families for Thanksgiving and Christmas. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has strongly recommended that people not do so this year for fear of widespread infections. Already the coronavirus has taken over 250,000 lives and the numbers show no sign of decreasing. "More than 1 million COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States over the last 7 days," stated CDC in updated holiday guidelines on Thursday. "As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with. Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu," it added.



In an interaction with reporters, Dr. Henry Walke, CDC's Covid-19 incident manager, said, "CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving Day period. Right now, especially as we are seeing exponential growth in cases and the opportunity to translocate disease or infection from one part of the country to another leads, to our recommendation to avoid travel at this time." reports CNN. The body issued a guideline on travel last month, where it had stated, "Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19." Walke presented a scenario where Thanksgiving gatherings are usually made up of family members from various generations that increases the chances of death and infections. He also highlighted he was not visiting his own parents this year for Thanksgiving. 



"What is at stake is the increased chance of one of your loved ones becoming sick and then being hospitalized and dying around the holidays," Walke said while adding that many in a family could be suffering from diabetes or kidney disease. Others who are old or very young could just be more susceptible to the disease. He added that 40 percent of infections are asymptomatic. "One of our concerns is people over the holiday season will get together and they may actually be bringing infection with them to that small gathering and not even know it," Walke said. Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz, the agency's lead for Community Intervention and Critical Population Task Force, was also present during the media briefing. She said, "The reason that we made the update is that the fact that over the week we've seen over a million new cases in the country."



"We received lots of questions from the American people about college students or people that were coming home for the holidays that are family members or are a household member, so further clarifying that the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with the people in your household," she added. While recommending against traveling, the CDC also spelled out a number of things that people could do to reduce or minimize infections while also enjoying the holiday season in its guidelines. It asked people to "consider how your holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families, and communities healthy and safe." One of these is for people to resort to "celebrating virtually." In the case of a gathering, it recommended small ones that only included only members of a household.



By household, they meant "anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your housing unit (such as your house or apartment)" including family members and those who are unrelated like roommates. "People who do not currently live in your housing unit, such as college students who are returning home from school for the holidays, should be considered part of different households. In-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying levels of risk," it stated. Larger gatherings have been given a thumbs down. The agency however probably knows that people may pay scant regard for its guidelines. So it has stated in case family members are traveling, a quarantine period of 14 days after arriving, and testing before or after has been recommended.



If people decide to have a gathering this Thanksgiving, the CDC has asked people to limit the number of guests, host the event outdoors rather than indoors, to social distance, and wear masks, to name a few.  


Disclaimer: Information about the pandemic is swiftly changing, and Shared is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication. Therefore, we encourage you to also regularly check online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization. 

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