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Health experts advising against traveling for Thanksgiving due to COVID-19

While it's not Halloween yet, the CDC is already releasing new guidelines on how to stay safe for Thanksgiving during the pandemic.
While it's not Halloween yet, the CDC is already releasing new guidelines on how to stay safe for Thanksgiving during the pandemic.(CNN)
Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 9:42 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - At the state level, COVID-19 cases are decreasing, but health officials are advising people to avoid traveling if possible due to the virus’s high transmission rate.

Warm pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and turkey with all the fixings along with family and friends from far and near is how most Americans spend their Thanksgiving until now.

Due to COVID-19, leading health experts like Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are advising against gathering with anyone other than the people you live with.

“Particularly with Thanksgiving coming up, we think it’s really important to stress the vigilance of these continued mitigation steps in the household setting,” Redfield said.

The nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is also urging people to rethink traveling.

Jack Lockwood with the Columbus Health Department said this concern could be due to the coronavirus' high transmission rate even when someone is in the asymptomatic stages.

“You can contract the virus maybe a day or two before you go visit and not know you are spreading that virus to your loved ones,” Lockwood said.

Travel Agent Donna Anderson said in her 37 years of working in the travel industry ,she has seen nothing hit the market quite like the pandemic.

“We are picking up,” Anderson said. “We have a lot of clients who are calling wanting to get information on travel.”

If you are planning on traveling, it is important to take some extra steps two weeks in advance to protect yourself and your loved ones this holiday season.

“Do things like wear your mask, continue to wash your hands, and social distance,” Lockwood said. “Those kinds of behaviors can protect yourself before going for that visit.”

The CDC said having Thanksgiving dinner with only immediate family members is a low-risk activity. Traveling and gathering in large groups with people who live outside of your home is high risk.

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