With the holidays coming up, many will be traveling amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In recent weeks, the United States has seen cases drastically spike throughout the country and epidemiologists are predicting a third wave of infections. Public health experts are now warning gatherings of families and friends during the holidays could further exacerbate community spread of the novel virus, according to "Today."
“Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, we’re having what I see as potentially six weeks of superspreader events, right, in which we’re going to be getting together with family and friends,” Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious diseases expert at the Emory University School of Medicine, said. “And we can see a lot of disease happening.”
“So, I’m really worried that we are facing some of the toughest times in this pandemic in our country,” del Rio added.
While families begin to prepare for Thanksgiving, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidance on how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CDC says to help slow the spread of COVID-19, families planning to travel for the holiday should hold a virtual Thanksgiving instead. The organization also explained how travel could increase the chance of coronavirus transmission, and families should stay home to protect themselves and others.
If you need to travel during the global outbreak, the CDC shared a list of potential risks and how to stay safe.
During the holiday, the agency recommended that families skip the travel and have a smaller Thanksgiving dinner with people who live in the same household. The CDC said having a virtual dinner is the smartest way to celebrate the holiday while social distancing.
The CDC also suggests “preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others.”
In addition to Thanksgiving Day celebrations, the CDC also has recommendations for the rest of the holiday weekend and advises consumers to shop online rather than in-person on Black Friday.
The effects of the pandemic are sure to be felt in many ways this holiday season.