CLEVELAND (NewsNation Now) — Medical experts are cautioning Americans to think about their safety ahead of Thanksgiving, as coronavirus cases rise is several states.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its Thanksgiving guidelines on Monday.
The new guidance said older adults and those at risk of severe illness should stay home and if you attend a holiday gathering, bring your own food and avoid potluck-style meals.
Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic said safety is key.
“I think it’s important to have a plan prior to Thanksgiving and a plan once the gathering begins,” said Dr. Adam Borland with Cleveland Clinic.
Health experts use Thanksgiving in Canada, celebrated last month, as an example. Clusters of COVID-19 cases have been tied to family gatherings during the holiday.
The CDC outlined out activities for the holiday by risk level:
Lower risk activities
- Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household
- 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
- Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
- Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday
- Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home
Moderate risk activities
- Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community
- Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.
- 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
Higher risk activities
Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:
- Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving
- Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race
- Attending crowded parades
- Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household
- Using alcohol or drugs that may alter judgment and make it more difficult to practice COVID-19 safety measures.