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

An outdoor dinner with a small group is considered a moderate-risk activity.
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Big gatherings with extended family are considered a high-risk activity this holiday season, according to the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) Thanksgiving COVID-19 guidance. 

"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. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others," the CDC's guidance says. 

Like it did for Halloween, the CDC has issued a list of activities that have been deemed low, moderate and high risk. The high-risk activities are: 

  • 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 can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household

Fortunately, many retailers are making holiday shopping easier this year by holding deal days earlier in the year and offering more discounts to online shoppers.

Unfortunately, having dinner with extended family or friends, even outside, is a moderate-risk activity that the CDC says could increase the chances of COVID-19 infection. The full list of moderate-risk activities: 

  • 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

Activities that are considered low-risk include small dinners with people you live with, delivering dinners to family and neighbors without making contact, shopping online and choosing to eat meals with non-household members virtually rather than in-person.

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