No Thanksgiving This Year? CDC Worried Family Gatherings Driving Up Coronavirus Cases

Reuters
October 15, 2020 Topic: Health Region: Americas Blog Brand: Coronavirus Tags: CoronavirusPandemicTravelThanksgivingCDCCOVID-19

No Thanksgiving This Year? CDC Worried Family Gatherings Driving Up Coronavirus Cases

To limit the spread of the virus, some medical experts are advising people to not host indoor Thanksgiving dinners with other individuals who aren’t part of their immediate household. An outdoor dinner with family and friends in the community is considered less risky.

Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has warned that household gatherings are fast becoming new drivers of coronavirus infections.

“In the public square, we’re seeing a higher degree of vigilance and mitigation steps in many jurisdictions,” he said during a call Tuesday with the nation’s governors.

“But what we’re seeing as the increasing threat right now is actually acquisition of infection through small household gatherings. Particularly with Thanksgiving coming up, we think it’s really important to stress the vigilance of these continued mitigation steps in the household setting.”

To limit the spread of the virus, some medical experts are advising people to not host indoor Thanksgiving dinners with other individuals who aren’t part of their immediate household. An outdoor dinner with family and friends in the community is considered less risky.

“Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together,” the CDC says on its website.

“Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved.” 

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that his children won’t be coming home for Thanksgiving this year due to the fear of potentially spreading the virus

“My Thanksgiving is going to look very different this year,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said during an interview with CBS News.  

“I would love to have it with my children, but my children are in three separate states throughout the country and in order for them to get here, they would all have to go to an airport, get on a plane, and travel with public transportation. They themselves, because of their concern for me and my age, have decided they’re not going to come home for Thanksgiving, even though all three of them want very much to come home for Thanksgiving.”  

Fauci has also expressed concern about the rising number of new coronavirus cases across the United States. For the past week, the country is averaging more than fifty thousand new cases per day.  

The nation’s top infectious disease expert said earlier in the week that the United States is “facing a whole lot of trouble” as the weather gets colder and people spend more time indoors, where the coronavirus has been shown to spread more easily.  

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.  

Image: Reuters