“The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people in your household,” the CDC advised in a Thanksgiving guide most recently updated on November 10.
“If you do plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, take steps to make your celebration safer.”
When not eating or drinking, individuals are advised to wear a face mask “with two or more layers” to impede the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, when donning a face mask, one should make sure the mask covers the nose and mouth. It should also be secured under the chin and fit snugly on both sides of one’s face.
The CDC noted that it is also important to “clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between uses.”
“If celebrating indoors, make sure to open windows,” the public health institute advised. Anyone hosting a gathering at their home should also consider having “a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community.”
Event hosts are also recommended to limit the number of guests in attendance and phone expected attendees to advise them to bring their “own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.”
“Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19,” the CDC warned. “Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.”
However, those who must travel a considerable distance for the holiday are advised to first check travel restrictions and get their flu shot prior to making the trip. While traveling, individuals should “always wear a mask in public settings and on public transportation” and maintain a 6-foot distance from those not in their household.
The guide also advises travelers to carry extra face masks and hand sanitizer. Overall, individuals should continue to wash their hands regularly and avoid touching their face mask, eyes, nose and mouth.
Those who choose to stay home could schedule a virtual Thanksgiving meal with their loved ones via online video conferencing applications.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House coronavirus task force, revealed in early October he plans on having a “very, very closed family type of thing” for Thanksgiving that will not even involve his adult daughters.
“We would love for them to come home for Thanksgiving,” Fauci expressed during an October 6 webinar with the Kennedy Political Union. “They have said themselves, ‘Dad, you know you’re a young, vigorous guy, but you’re 79 years old.’”
Older adults and those with underlying medical conditions are at greater risk of developing and dying from a COVID-19-related illness.
This holiday season comes amid a nationwide spike in COVID-19 cases that has been linked to American fatigue regarding disease-related restrictions.
“There’s growth in every area of this country,” Dr. John Voss, vice chairman for quality and safety at the University of Virginia Health System, told the Washington Post this week.
As of Tuesday, some 61,964 individuals were hospitalized with COVID-19-related illnesses in the US, according to the Associated Press, citing the COVID Tracking Project. New infections of the contagious disease have topped 100,000 per day.