Officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said people should not travel during Thanksgiving because of the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the United States, Foreign Media The Verge reported. “This is a strong recommendation,” Henry Walke, CDC’s COVID-19 event manager, said at a news conference.
In recent days, the average number of new crown confirmed cases in the United States has exceeded 160,000, and most states are spreading out of control. “At this critical stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, we all need to consider the safest way to celebrate the festival,” Walke said.
The U.S. has seen a spike in new case confirmed cases after the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays, and Thanksgiving brings even greater concern: celebrations usually take place indoors (the virus is more easily transmitted) and for generations (including the high-risk COVID-19 elderly). More viruses are now spreading in most parts of the United States than during those summer vacations.
The agency released its latest holiday guidelines Thursday, saying staying at home is the best way to stay safe. People considering traveling should consider whether someone in their home is at risk of COVID-19 due to a potential illness, whether hospitals in their area are overburdened, whether they are able to stay away from others within two weeks of a possible trip, and other issues. “If the answers to these questions are ‘yes’, you should consider other plans, such as hosting virtual parties or postponing travel,” the guide reads.
The process of going from one place to another has also caught the CDC’s attention. “We’re not just looking at the actual way we travel – whether it’s by plane, by bus, or by car, or by motorhome, for example – but also at transportation hubs,” Volcker said. “When people are waiting in line to get on a bus or a plane, people tend to huddled together.”
The CDC says it’s also risky to get together for Thanksgiving with people who don’t live in your home. People celebrating indoors can open windows and wear masks. The CDC also offers advice on shopping on false dates. The guide encourages people to shop online, use contactless pick-up, and distance themselves from others in outdoor markets.
Anyone who doesn’t live with you in the 14 days before Thanksgiving is considered someone outside of your family, Erin Sauber-Schatz, director of the CDC’s Community Intervention and Key People Task Force, stressed in a news call. This includes college students who may call your family home but don’t live there during the school year. “You definitely need to take extra precautions in your house,” she said. This may include wearing a mask in the house or keeping the window open.
Walke says the health and safety of family members and others with whom they may interact is at risk. “The tragedy that could happen is that one of your family members, who came together from this family gathering, could actually end up in hospital, seriously ill and dead,” he said. “People want to see their relatives and friends the way they’ve always been. But this year, we’re asking people to be as safe and travel-restricted as possible. “