The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its guidance on how to safely celebrate Thanksgiving amid the coronavirus pandemic — recommending that gatherings remain small and bargain-hunters stick to online shopping.
The federal health agency advised that the safest way to celebrate Turkey Day would be to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel.
“Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together. Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19,” the CDC posted on its website.
“Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.”
The agency then ranked a series of holiday activities from low-risk to higher-risk.
Low-risk Thanksgiving activities include:
- Having a small dinner with only the people who live in your household
- Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
- Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday
- Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home
Moderate-risk activities include:
- Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community
- Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
- Attending a small outdoor sports events with safety precautions in place
The CDC urged Americans to avoid higher-risk activities like Black Friday shopping at stores or attending parades.
The higher-risk activities for the holiday include:
- Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving
- Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race
- Attending crowded parades
- Using alcohol or drugs, which the agency says can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors
- Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household
COVID-19 has so far infected more than 7.1 million Americans and killed more than 204,700 people nationwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.