RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — When many people envision thanksgiving they think of large dinners with extended family followed by Black Friday shopping sprees.
However, with the coronavirus pandemic still at large, the Center for Disease Control is recommending people alter their Thanksgiving celebrations this year with safety in mind. This includes smaller gatherings and not traveling for the holiday.
“Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together,” the CDC said on its website. “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. If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved.”
The CDC has ranked actives into three categories– lower risk, moderate risk, and higher risk. For example, with lower risk activities you have a decreased risk of catching COVID-19, and with higher risk activates you have a serious chance of catching the virus.
Here’s how the CDC ranks each Thanksgiving tradition:
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
- 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
- Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving
- Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race
- Attending crowded parades
- Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
- Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household
The CDC asks that anyone still planning to travel during the pandemic refrain from doing so if they are sick or have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Mask use is strongly recommended for travelers.
When considering high risk travel activities the CDC asks that people stay home as much as possible, avoid people at high risk for severe illness and consider getting tested for COVID-19.