CDC Recommends Staying Home for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday where people travel long distances so they can spend time with their families. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) makes it clear that staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from catching and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

The CDC has information about Thanksgiving related activities that are “lower risk”, “moderate risk” and “higher risk”. Understanding the risk of certain activities can help you make safer choices.

Lower Risk Activities

  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your neighborhood
  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others
  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
  • Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving
  • Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home

Moderate Risk Activities

  • Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Attending a small outdoor sports event with safety precautions in place

Higher Risk Activities

  • Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving
  • Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race
  • Attending crowded parties
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside your household

The CDC also points out that indoor gatherings generally pose more risk than outdoor gatherings. Indoor gatherings with poor ventilation pose more risk than those with good ventilation, such as those with open windows or doors. Wear a mask if you are traveling on public transportation.

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