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CDC says staying home for Thanksgiving is necessary step in slowing spread

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines Thursday, telling people to stay home for Thanksgiving and celebrate only with those who live in their house.

Canada saw a spike in cases after it celebrated Thanksgiving in October, and health experts are worried the same will happen in the U.S.

We saw a spike after Memorial Day, so to slow down our cases, hospitalizations and deaths before more holidays come and go, the CDC said they had to make a change – and make it now.

With only a week until Thanksgiving, flights are booked, turkeys bought and families are planning to celebrate together safely.

Now, Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz with the CDC says you should reconsider your plans.

“We just made a stronger recommendation about not traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.”

She said climbing COVID-19 cases across the country are to blame.

“Knowing that we had an increase in cases – over a million new cases last week, with an increase in hospitalizations and deaths, as well as hospitals being overwhelmed with cases and running out of hospital beds – we felt that it was necessary to make a statement that the best way to celebrate and the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with those who live with you.”

While it may not be what we want to hear or do, Sauber-Schatz said that using restraint now can lead to brighter celebrations later.

“Hypothetically, if everyone stayed home, if no one went outside of their house and prevented that spread from each other – it’s going to slow the spread of COVID-19, because people who have it don’t have the opportunity to give it to others.”

She said if you plan to celebrate with family and friends anyhow, keep your numbers small, wear masks and wash your hands often, and set up seating with social distancing in mind.

Here in Southwest Florida, we’re lucky to have an option that millions of other people don’t: We can celebrate outside.

Reporter:Veronica Marshall
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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