Dear Commons Community,
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday advised Americans not to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s Covid-19 incident manager, said there is “no more important time than now for each and every American to redouble our efforts to watch our distance, wash our hands and, most importantly, wear a mask.”
“CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving period,” he said. “For Americans who decide to travel, CDC recommends doing so as safely as possible by following the same recommendations for everyday living.”
Walke added that the CDC is concerned “about the transportation hubs.” He said he’s worried people won’t be able to maintain social distancing while waiting in line, for example, to board buses and planes.
“We’re alarmed,” Walke said, adding that the country has seen an “exponential increase” in cases, hospitalizations and deaths recently. “One of our concerns is that as people over the holiday season get together, they may actually be bringing infections with them to that small gathering and not even know it.”
Roughly 30% to 40% of Covid-19′s spread is driven by people without symptoms, he said.
“From an individual household level, what’s at stake is basically increased chance of one of your loved ones becoming sick and then hospitalized and dying,” Walke said. “We certainly don’t want to see that happen. These times are tough. It’s been a long outbreak.”
Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz, the CDC’s community intervention and critical population task force lead, said “we are asking people to be flexible,” adding that those who are visiting at-risk people should be especially careful.
Thanksgiving celebrations should be limited only to those people living in the same household, a definition the CDC clarified yesterday. Sauber-Schatz said only people who have been living in the house for the 14 days before the gathering should be considered a member of the household. That would exclude college students and members of the military who planned to go home for the holidays.
Show your love for your family by staying home!