CDC warns against Thanksgiving travel

Postponing Thanksgiving travel and celebrating virtually or only with those from the same household is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC said Nov. 19 as cases continue to soar. 

There's a concern that social distancing will not be able to be maintained while waiting in boarding lines for buses or trains, Henry Walke, MD, the CDC's COVID-19 incident manager, said during a Nov. 19 news briefing, its first since August. 

"One of our many concerns is that as people over the holiday season get together, they may actually be bringing infections with them to that small gathering and not even know it," Dr. Walke said. 

People who have lived outside the household for the 14 days before a gathering should not be considered household members, the CDC said. 

"Regardless of where they've been, if they're coming home and they haven't been living with you, you definitely need to take precautions," Dr. Walke said. "Having their own bathroom for someone who might be an overnight guest, for example." 

Those who are thinking about traveling should consider the state of COVID-19 spread both in their own community and their destination, and if someone they're planning to visit may be vulnerable to severe infection. 

The American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and American Nurses Association also published an open letter Nov. 19, calling for the public to scale back holiday gatherings. 

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