HOUSTON – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended Americans avoid traveling for Thanksgiving to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The recommendations come as numbers continue to increase across the country and Texas.
“Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19,” the CDC recommendation page reads. “Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.”
Dr. Henry Walke, CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager, told CNBC there is “no more important time than now for each and every American to redouble our efforts to watch our distance, wash our hands and, most importantly, wear a mask.”
“CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving period,” he told CNBC. “For Americans who decide to travel, CDC recommends doing so as safely as possible by following the same recommendations for everyday living.”
If you do travel, here’s what the CDC recommends:
- Check travel restrictions before you go.
- Get your flu shot before you travel.
- Always wear a mask in public settings, when using public transportation, and when around people who you don’t live with.
- Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who does not live with you.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
- Know when to delay your travel.
“Celebrating virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice this Thanksgiving,” the CDC guidelines say. “If having guests to your home, be sure that people follow the steps that everyone can take to make Thanksgiving safer.”
If you do decide to attend a gathering the CDC said people should take these measures:
- Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.
- Wear a mask and safely store your mask while eating and drinking.
- Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen.
- Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils.
If you’re hosting, the CDC makes these recommendations:
- Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community.
- Limit the number of guests.
- Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
- If celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible. You can use a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out of the window. This will pull fresh air in through the other open windows.
- Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.
- Have guests bring their own food and drink.
- If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.
For the full coronavirus CDC Thanksgiving guidelines, go here.