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The coronavirus pandemic has reshaped so many things this year and Thanksgiving is next on the list. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shared guidelines on how families can have a safe holiday, recommending smaller dinners and virtual gatherings.

Holiday travel isn’t advised because it poses a higher risk of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is best, the experts said.

If you do travel, the CDC wants people to be aware of the risks. High-risk activities include:

  • Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on or after Thanksgiving.
  • Participating in or being a spectator at a crowded race.
  • Attending crowded parades.
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors.
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household.

Read more CDC recommendations for how to have a safe Thanksgiving.

Moderate-risk activities

  • Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community. You can 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.

Globally, more than 32.6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 999,000 people have died from it, Johns Hopkins University reported Monday.

In the United States, more than 7 million people have been infected and more than 204,000 people have died from COVID-19 as of Monday. The U.S. has only about 4 percent of the world’s population but more confirmed cases and deaths than any other country.


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