CDC Thanksgiving guidelines: How to stay safe and coronavirus-free over the holiday

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By Shelby Lin Erdman | CNN

Thanksgiving is right around the corner — and if public health agencies have their way — celebrations this year promise to be extremely different from past years, as the coronavirus surges in states across the country.

Infectious disease experts are warning of a convergence of Covid-19 and influenza as the temperature drops and colder weather sets in. The United States is already seeing an uptick in infections.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released guidance on holiday gatherings and what Americans need to be aware of before traveling, hosting or attending parties — or just gathering with family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The main guidance, according to the CDC, is assessing the levels of Covid-19 infections in communities to determine whether to postpone, cancel or limit the number of people at a celebration or whether to attend certain activities. If there are high infection rates, the agency recommends limited gatherings.

“Some people in this country are going to be able to have a relatively normal type of a Thanksgiving, but in other areas of the country, it’s going to be, ‘You better hold off and maybe just have immediate family, and make sure you do it in a way that people wear masks, and you don’t have large crowds of people,’ ” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a recent interview with CNN.

“What we’re starting to see now — and we can’t run away from it — we’re starting to see in the Midwest and the Northwest, an uptick in test positivity, which tends to be a predictor that you’re going to have surges,” Fauci said.

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But if Americans are going to celebrate Thanksgiving, the trick, Fauci said, is to do it as safely as possible.

Low risk holiday activities

The lowest risk for contracting the highly infectious virus or spreading it is simply celebrating Thanksgiving in your own home with members of your household and/or virtually with extended family, the CDC said.

“Understanding that everyone has this traditional, emotional, understandable, warm feeling about the holidays — and bringing a group of people, friends and family together in their house, indoors — that’s understandable,” Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told ABC News during an interview Thursday. “But we really have to be careful this time, and each individual family evaluate the risk/benefit of doing that.”

People can prepare holiday food for non-household family members — especially those at higher risk of contracting Covid-19, and neighbors — and deliver it without contact. They can also host a virtual dinner as a means of mitigating any risk.

Also shopping online instead of heading to malls and stores for holiday sales the weekend after Thanksgiving is a safer way of grabbing those deals.

The CDC suggests watching sports events, parades or movies from home as another low-risk holiday activity.

Moderate risk holiday activities

If you are going to host a …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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