It was all good just a year ago.

Thanksgiving — which is considered to be the most heavily traveled holiday in the U.S. — is now considered a risky holiday to celebrate this year because of the risk of spreading the coronavirus. That doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate at all, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is strongly recommending that people stay home instead of traveling to see loved ones and family members this year.

“Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19,” the CDC explained in an advisory released Thursday. “Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.” This announcement comes following a recent uptick in coronavirus cases across and the United States, and more than 250,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The better bet, the CDC advised, was for people instead to spend Thanksgiving with the people they have been living with for the two weeks leading up to the holiday. The agency added: “Celebrating virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice this Thanksgiving.”

The agency also advises that anyone who has not lived in the household during the two weeks ahead of the holiday stay in a separate area of the house with a designated bathroom, if possible, and wear masks while indoors. That includes college students or members of the military returning home for the holidays.

Other CDC guidance for Thanksgiving includes: Having guests bring their own food, drinks, plates and utensils; offering disposable food containers, as well as single-use salad dressings and condiment packets; avoiding congregating in the kitchen as much as possible, hosting gatherings outside with as few people as possible, and clearly explaining mitigation efforts with guests ahead of time.

But even spending the holiday nearby — like at a neighbor’s house just down the street — can be risky, the CDC said.

And the CDC is not the only one expressing their concerns this holiday season. Three major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, published an open letter to Americans, citing the recent surge in COVID-19 cases to urge precautions for the holidays.

ESSENCE is committed to bringing our audience the latest facts about COVID-19 (coronavirus). Our content team is closely monitoring the developing details surrounding the virus via official sources and health care experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Please continue to refresh ESSENCE’s informational hub for updates on COVID-19, as well as for tips on taking care of yourselves, your families and your communities.

TOPICS: