ATLANTA, Ga. – Tuesday marks the first day of fall, which means people across the country are beginning to plan their Thanksgiving festivities.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wants Americans to keep coronavirus risks in mind.
Specifically, the CDC wants people to know that traveling for the holidays increases your chance of contracting or spreading the coronavirus.
“Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together,” the CDC wrote in an updated guidance. “Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.”
The CDC says staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others, but if you must travel, health officials want you to be informed of the risks involved.
The agency says these are considered lower-risk activities:
- Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household
- 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 or the next Monday
- Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home
These are considered moderate-risk activities:
- Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community (lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs)
- Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, where 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
These activities are considered higher-risk and the CDC says they should be avoided to help prevent the spread of the virus:
- Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving
- Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race
- Attending crowded parades
- Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors
- Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household
Click here to learn more from the CDC about how to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus.