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CDC Issues Warning, Guidelines For Thanksgiving Travelers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - With Thanksgiving exactly one week away, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing a warning to holiday travelers.

As CBS2's Alice Gainer reports, Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year. This year, the CDC is asking people to pump the brakes.

"CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving period," said Dr. Henry Walke, CDC COVID-19 incident manager. "We're alarmed with the exponential increase in cases and hospitalizations and deaths."

More: Coronavirus Travel Advisory List

It's not just the modes of transportation they're worried about - it's the transportation hubs.

"People in lines waiting to get on the bus or get on the plane people tend to crowd together and can't maintain their distance," Dr. Walke said.

More: Tri-State Governors Concerned About Thanksgiving Becoming Super-Spreader Event

So the CDC is strongly recommending keeping your celebration to your household only.

What does that mean, exactly, when it comes to college students or military members returning home?

More: CDC Thanksgiving Guidance

"If people have not been actively living with you for the 14 days before you're celebrating, they're not considered a member of your household and you need to take precautions including wearing masks in your own household," said Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz of the CDC.

And should overnight guests still come over:

  • Wear masks inside the house and stay at least six feet away at all times
  • Open windows or put central air or heat on continuous circulation
  • Spend time outdoors
  • Don't let pets interact with people outside the household
  • Avoid singing or shouting

"I mean, how hard is it going to be to do these things?" Gainer asked.

"It's going to be incredibly hard," said Dr. Robert Amler, dean of New York Medical College and a former chief medical officer at the CDC.

"Not everyone has a giant home in which people can be in different rooms," he said.

Dr. Amler says it really is best to keep it to the household and celebrate together later, when there's a vaccine.


"You'll have those relatives and loved ones with you that did not get infected," he said.

That's something to really be thankful for.

Still planning on traveling? Don't forget to check state and local requirements for travelers at your destination before you go.


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