Skip to main content

As COVID-19 surges, CDC urges people to stay home for Thanksgiving

The federal agency recommends people avoid traveling and only celebrating the holiday at home with people they live with.

As COVID-19 cases across the country skyrocket, the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people to stay home for Thanksgiving

"As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with," the CDC's guidance, which was updated Thursday, says. 

More than 1 million COVID-19 cases have been reported in the U.S. over the past seven days, the CDC says. Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or other illnesses, like the flu. 

“We understand that people want to see their family and relatives and do it as they’ve always done it. But this year we’re asking them to limit their travel," the CDC's COVID-19 incident manager Dr. Henry Walke said in a press briefing this week, according to USA Today.

Walke says the CDC is worried about people traveling via transportation hubs where people are waiting in line together to board buses and planes, according to CNBC, and the CDC is recommending people don't travel at all. 

“For Americans who decide to travel, CDC recommends doing so as safely as possible by following the same recommendations for everyday living," Walke said.

In recent weeks, as COVID-19 has pushed hospitals to their brink, health officials have gotten stricter in their recommendations for celebrating the upcoming holiday safely. 

In early November, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and CDC asked people to avoid large gatherings and then health experts shifted their recommendations to say people should bubble if they planned to visit family or friends. 

Now they're asking people to only celebrate with those in their immediate household. In Minnesota, doing anything but that is going against a new executive order that prohibits all social gatherings with people outside of your immediate household, even if the event is outdoors or allows for social distancing. 

“One of our 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,” Walke said, according to CNBC, adding that 30% to 40% of spread is driven by people without symptoms.

Follow Bring Me The News on YouTube

Instead, the CDC suggests having a virtual celebration with those you don't live with or deliver meals to family and neighbors without making contact.  

If people do choose to go against the CDC's recommendations and host an in-person gathering with people outside of their household (remember, they're not allowed in Minnesota), the CDC encourages people to take the following steps to make things safer:

  • Have a small meal outdoors with those who live in your community
  • If celebrating inside, increase ventilation in the home by opening windows and doors and/or turning on the home's central air/heat so the fan is continuously circulating the air
  • Limit the number of guests
  • Set expectations with guests for celebrating safely prior to the event
  • Limit the number of people in food preparation areas, and better yet, have people bring their own food and drinks
  • Make sure people sit six feet apart and wear a mask whenever they're not eating or drinking
  • Avoid singing and shouting, especially indoors

Additional safety tips and recommendations for celebrating the holidays and holiday travel can be found here and here

Next Up

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.

IMG_3509

Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Minneapolis police

Man found yelling for help after being shot in Minneapolis

The shooting occurred on the 800 block of Elwood Avenue North at around 9:15 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

Minneapolis North principal says she was fired, district says otherwise

“MPS requires schools to follow protocols in times like that and I did not,” Friestleben said.

Kris Richard Severin

Inmate who escaped Minnesota prison is captured

The inmate escaped Wednesday morning.

Brave New Comedy Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

Brave New Workshop cancels shows due to COVID-19 cases

The shows were scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre.

Austin Retterath

Body of missing U of M student found in Mississippi River

Austin Retterath was last seen alive in the morning hours of May 8.

"Love" mural seen in St. Paul.

Summer mural events to bring together community, shine light on MN artists

The 2022 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival will take place this weekend in St. Paul's Creative Enterprise Zone, with ensuing events happening this summer.

14869-Manitou-Road-NE-Prior-Lake-MN-55372-6110268-image37

Gallery: Remodeled lakeside home in Prior Lake on market for $2.8M

It offers privacy at the end of a dead-end road fronting onto Lower Prior Lake.

golden valley police department

Carjacking outside ice arena in Golden Valley under investigation

Golden Valley PD confirmed it received a report of a carjacking Monday evening.

Growlers

Signs that MN Legislature could move to loosen liquor laws

A provision was approved by a legislature committee on Thursday but still awaits a final decision from the House and Senate.

Related

thanksgiving turkey

COVID-19: MDH's guidance for celebrating Thanksgiving during a pandemic

MDH's guidance for celebrating Thanksgiving this year asks people to avoid large gatherings and instead celebrate in small groups or with family.

dinner party holidays gathering celebration 1

Here are the CDC's COVID-19 guidelines for the holidays

It's the second year of celebrating holidays during the pandemic.

cranberries-4658413_1280

Dinner with extended family? CDC issues Thanksgiving COVID-19 guidance

An outdoor dinner with a small group is considered a moderate-risk activity.

mask up

Midwest governors urge people to mask up, take precautions ahead of the holidays

The message comes ahead of the holidays when health officials are asking people to only celebrate with their household.

dinner-1733171_1280

Doctors urge Minnesotans to re-think Thanksgiving plans, follow CDC advice

The Minnesota Medical Association has issued a plea to Minnesotans at a time when hospitals are under tremendous strain.

thanksgiving turkey

Experts say stay home this Thanksgiving, 'bubble' before if you'll go anyway

"If you can't bubble yourself," Osterholm says, don't go home.

thanksgiving turkey

Here are the Mayo Clinic's tips for staying COVID safe this Thanksgiving

Small, indoor gatherings with fully vaccinated people should be OK.

covid-19, coronavirus

As COVID-19 cases surge, Itasca County suspends contact tracing

Health officials instead will focus on high-risk settings, like schools and long-term care facilities.