CDC Recommends Virtual Gatherings, Bringing Your Own Food For Thanksgiving

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidelines Monday on how to safely celebrate Thanksgiving during the coronavirus pandemic.

Virtual gatherings or gatherings only with members of your household pose the lowest risk of spreading the virus, the CDC said. There is an increased risk when people gather with others from different households or with college students returning from school. (RELATED: REPORT: Young Kids Losing Basic Skills Under Coronavirus Lockdowns)

While the CDC didn’t outline a specific limit on the number of people at a gathering, the CDC noted that smaller groups are better and that it is important to wear a mask and stay six feet apart from others. Shaking hands and hugging is discouraged in the guidelines. Shorter gatherings are safer than gatherings that last longer, the CDC said.

“Encourage guests to avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors,” the guidelines read. “Keep music levels down so people don’t have to shout or speak loudly to be heard.”

Guests should bring their own food for themselves and members of their household, per the CDC. The host is also directed in the guidelines to encourage guests to bring supplies such as extra masks, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and tissues.

Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together,” the CDC said. “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 updated guidelines come after the United States surpassed 10 million reported coronavirus cases Monday. The United States has reported more than 100,000 confirmed new cases per day for the past five days, and at least 237,000 Americans have died from the virus, the Washington Post reported.

As the country readies for the holiday season, experts warn that the worst phase of the pandemic is beginning.