With COVID-19 cases continuing to climb in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending against traveling this Thanksgiving.
On Thursday, Dr. Henry Walke, COVID-19 incident manager at the CDC, urged Americans to avoid traveling for the holiday, saying it’s an “important time” to double down on mitigation efforts including social distancing and wearing masks, CNBC reports.
“CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving period,” Walke said. “For Americans who decide to travel, CDC recommends doing so as safely as possible by following the same recommendations for everyday living.”
Walke added that the CDC is “alarmed” amid an “exponential increase” in COVID-19 cases, as well as deaths and hospitalizations, in the U.S.
The CDC also released new guidance stating that “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,” as “gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.”
Experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have previously warned about the risks of holding traditional Thanksgiving gatherings amid the pandemic, especially those that involve people from multiple households who would travel to get together.
“When you’re talking about relatives that are getting on a plane, being exposed in an airport, being exposed in a plane, then walk in the door and say, ‘Happy Thanksgiving,’ that you have to be careful about,” Fauci said last month. He also said that Americans “may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering unless you’re pretty certain that the people that you’re dealing with are not infected.” Brendan Morrow