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CDC recommends virtual Thanksgiving to lessen risk of COVID-19 spreading

Thanksgiving is less than two months away and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put out guidance on how to stay safe this holiday during the coronavirus pandemic. In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC is recommending families who usually travel to see each other hold virtual Thanksgivings instead.

Since travel increases the chance of coronavirus transmission, staying at home is the best way to prevent the spread, the CDC says. For those who must travel during the pandemic, the CDC has a list of potential risks and how to protect yourself and others.

The agency recommends families skip traveling altogether and have smaller Thanksgiving dinners with people only living in the same household. The CDC also recommends having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family, as a way to celebrate the holiday while social distancing.

The CDC also recommends “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.”

In addition to alternative Thanksgiving Day activities, the CDC also has recommendations for Thanksgiving weekend, saying people should shop online rather than in-person on Black Friday and the following Monday.

The CDC also recommends that sports fans or parade-goers watch these events from home. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be held without crowds and will be television-only this year, for the first time in its history.

Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community lowers the risk of spreading COVID-19, the CDC says. The agency has guidance on how best to hold an outdoor gathering, including keeping track of guests’ COVID-19 status.

Other outdoor fall actives can also be made safer too. The CDC recommends going to pumpkin patches or orchards where hand sanitizer, social distancing and wearing masks is encouraged or enforced. Outdoor sporting events are also possible if safety precautions are in place, the CDC says.

The CDC also named higher risk activities, which people should avoid to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Going shopping in crowded stores, attending a race or parade, or attending any large indoor gatherings with people outside your household are not recommended.

The CDC also notes that using alcohol or drugs can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors. The Thanksgiving guidance comes after the CDC released guidance pertaining to Halloween, recommending traditional trick-or-treating be avoided.

Author: BY CAITLIN O'KANE / CBS News
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