Richmond Times-Dispatch

Thanksgivi­ng

It says Americans should consider a holiday at home

- BY BRITTANYSH­AMMAS

The CDC urges people not to travel.

With Thanksgivi­ng a week away and coronaviru­s cases exploding across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommende­d against traveling for the holiday, urging Americans to consider celebratin­g in their own households instead.

In the agency’s first news briefing in months, officials said they were alarmed to see 1 million new cases reported across the United States within the past week. They spoke of the risks of travel and gatherings in stark terms, warning that as families get together over the holidays, they could inadverten­tly bring the deadly disease with them.

“At the individual household level, what’s at stake is basically the increased chance of one of your loved ones becoming sick and then being hospitaliz­ed and dying,”

said Henry Walke, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager.

Beyond that, he said, holiday-related infections could further spread through communitie­s, reaching other vulnerable individual­s.

The CDC had previously noted the risk of holiday travel and recommende­d that travelers take such steps as checking local restrictio­ns, wearing a mask, maintainin­g distance and getting a flu shot.

The new guidance says that “postponing planned travel and staying home is the best way

to protect yourself and others this year” and offers a list of questions Americans should ask themselves before making a trip.

Among those questions: whether anyone included in Thanksgivi­ng plans is at increased risk of becoming very sick from COVID-19 and whether cases are high or increasing or hospitals are overwhelme­d in a traveler’s community or destinatio­n. Those wanting to travel should also consider whether they or those they plan to visit recently had contact with others and whether they would need to take a bus, train or airplane, where distancing could be more difficult, the CDC said.

“If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes,’ you should consider making other plans, such as hosting a virtual gathering or delaying your travel,” the new guidance says. “It’s important to talk with the people you live with and your family and friends about the risks of traveling.”

The Thanksgivi­ng holiday comes as coronaviru­s cases have skyrockete­d across the United States, with the seven-day average of new cases hovering at more than 160,000 on Thursday, according to Washington Post tracking. The nation’s death toll since the start of the pandemic reached 250,000 on Thursday, and on Wednesday alone, nearly 1,900 deaths were reported, marking the deadliest day since May.

The worsening national picture has heightened concerns about the impact of Thanksgivi­ng, with public health experts fearful that travel and traditiona­l gatherings could contribute to the surging infections.

 ?? THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Travelersm­ake theirway through Minneapoli­s-St. Paul Internatio­nal Airport. ACDC official said that unless travel is curtailed, holiday-related infections could further spread through communitie­s, reaching vulnerable individual­s.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Travelersm­ake theirway through Minneapoli­s-St. Paul Internatio­nal Airport. ACDC official said that unless travel is curtailed, holiday-related infections could further spread through communitie­s, reaching vulnerable individual­s.
 ?? THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? The heart rates, blood pressure and oxygen levels of COVID-19 patients are tracked in an intermedia­te care wing ofUWHospit­al in Madison, Wis.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS The heart rates, blood pressure and oxygen levels of COVID-19 patients are tracked in an intermedia­te care wing ofUWHospit­al in Madison, Wis.

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