Should you cancel Thanksgiving? What Fauci and other experts say about celebrating during COVID.

By Kashmira Gander
October 22, 2020

n a year where COVID-19 has killed almost 220,000 people in the U.S., many families will be looking to Thanksgiving as a chance to regain some normalcy. However, meeting up to celebrate could place people at risk.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House coronavirus task force member and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN earlier this month that while people in some parts of the country could have a “relatively normal” Thanksgiving, others should consider only meeting with immediate family.

Fauci told CBS News his own celebration would “look very different this year,” as his children would not be visiting because his age puts him at high risk of suffering severe COVID-19 symptoms if he contracts the virus…

How can I prepare Thanksgiving in advance to keep my family safe?

Minimize the risk of catching the virus by following CDC advice such as wearing a mask in public settings, washing hands frequently, avoiding close contact with those who are sick, and socially distancing.

Getting groceries delivered is another way to minimize risk of catching the virus. If you are in charge of shopping for Thanksgiving and delivery is not an option, go to the store well ahead of the big day and avoid last minute runs. This reduces risk of infection among yourself, store workers and others in the community, said Roess.

Quarantine for two weeks

If possible, quarantine for 14 days before a gathering. It can take between two to 14 days for a person’s COVID-19 symptoms to show, according to Amanda Mae Simanek, associate professor in epidemiology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Individuals can be infectious two days before their symptoms appear.

They can typically end their isolation period after 10 days if their symptoms have improved and they have been free of a fever without needing medication, as they will likely no longer be infectious, she said.

“If you have not developed symptoms [in the 14 days], it is very unlikely that you have COVID-19,” said Simanek.

Another option is traveling 14 days ahead of an event, and quarantining at the location. If you cannot quarantine at your event location, Simanek suggested staying at a hotel or rental.

“For many families, however, self-quarantine before or after traveling to their destination won’t be possible for a range of reasons and thus, individuals will need to consider other ways to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission if they still decide to get together for the holiday,” Simanek said…

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