AMA, AHA, ANA urge public to scale back holiday gatherings amid 'record-shattering surge'

The American people must do their part to protect healthcare workers by scaling back traditional holiday gatherings to help mitigate COVID-19 spread, according to a Nov. 19 open letter from the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association and American Nurses Association.  

The three medical associations strongly urge everyone to scale back Thanksgiving and holiday celebrations, citing a pattern of rising COVID-19 cases around holidays and mass gatherings throughout the pandemic.  

The current "record-shattering surge" is resulting in uncontrolled community spread that has already overburdened some local health systems and will ultimately consume the capacity of the U.S. healthcare system, the letter reads. 

"We are all weary and empathize with the desire to celebrate the holidays," the letter concludes, emphasizing the importance of wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand-washing.

With more than a million COVID-19 cases reported in the U.S. over the last week, the CDC is advising Americans to only celebrate Thanksgiving with members of their own household. 

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