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CDC begs Americans to stay home for Thanksgiving

Faced with a seemingly unstoppable surge in coronavirus infections, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials on Thursday urged Americans to avoid traveling for Thanksgiving and celebrate only with their immediate family members. Did-disregard the message threat that is in fierce conflict with the White House.

The petition, delivered at the CDC press conference for the first time in months, arrived when many Americans were packing in one of the most traveled weeks of the year. This is the first time an agency has warned people from a traditional holiday celebration.

“The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to stay home with members of your family,” said Erin Sauber Schatz, who heads the agency’s community intervention and important population task force. .. She urged Americans to reassess their plans for next week.

The CDC warning goes against a message from government officials condemning concerns that Thanksgiving celebrations will accelerate the spread of the virus.

“Many of the guidelines you’re looking at are Orwell,” said White House spokesman Kayleigh McEnany, Oregon’s requirement for a rally of no more than six people at Fox and Friends. Was taken up.

Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force did not mention Thanksgiving at a press conference on Thursday, but warned of the dangers associated with indoor rallies and called for “warning” if the infection was widespread. did.

Earlier this week, President Trump’s scientific adviser, Dr. Scott Atlas, ridiculed the idea that older relatives would be at risk on holiday weekends, but older people are far more likely to get sick. There is ample medical evidence that it is expensive to be exposed to the virus and die when sick.

“This kind of isolation is one of the tacit tragedy of the elderly who is now being told,’Don’t meet your family on Thanksgiving,'” said Dr. Atlas. “For many, this is their last Thanksgiving. Believe it or not.”

According to AAA Travel, an estimated 55 million Americans were planning to travel for vacation. However, increased coronavirus infections, new quarantine regulations, and increased unemployment have discouraged travelers in the past few weeks, a decrease of at least 10% now, the largest decrease since 2008. ..

United Airlines recently said it expects Thanksgiving Week to be the busiest time since the outbreak of the pandemic. But on Thursday, the airline reported late bookings and more cancellations. American Airlines has significantly reduced flights between the United States and Europe due to the surge in incidents on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Bold CDC officials, rarely heard in recent months, have spoken more powerfully since the presidential election, Joseph R. Biden, Jr., won the election. On Thursday, agency researchers said they were wary of an “exponential” increase in coronavirus infections, hospitalizations, and deaths across the country.

Over 1 million new cases have been reported in the past week alone.

“At this critical stage, the CDC recommends banning travel during Thanksgiving,” said Dr. Henry Walk, the agency’s Covid-19 Incident Manager, at a press conference. “All Americans want to do what they can to protect their loved ones.”

As of Wednesday, the seven-day average of new daily cases across the country was over 162,000, an increase of 77% from two weeks ago. More than 79,000 hospitalizations were reported on Wednesday.

California officials announced a curfew on Thursday aimed at quickly curbing the surge in new coronavirus infections. Almost all residents of the country’s most populous state are barred from doing unnecessary work or leaving home to meet from 10 pm to 5 am.

Governor Gavin Newsom’s orders come as state officials and experts warn of a new wave of infections heading for a dangerous Thanksgiving week, but have yet to undo it.

Given the heightened crisis, the CDC’s timing has confused some scientists who have warned for weeks that holiday gatherings could accelerate the pandemic.

“They’re a little late — everyone has a ticket for the plane,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “But it’s better than being late.”

Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Diseases Research Policy and a member of Biden’s Covid-19 Advisory Board, warns that Thanksgiving feasts are the best environment to spread the virus. Did.

“Now it’s a bad time to exchange air with people who aren’t direct household members,” he said. “One person who appears to be perfectly healthy can be seated at a table, and most, if not all, people sitting at that table can be infected.”

Small household groups help spread the virus, but it is difficult to define the contribution to the overall victim. Elderly families are particularly vulnerable to the development of severe Covid-19, especially if they are in chronic health.

Travel itself puts people at risk of being exposed to the virus, regardless of how they travel. “We are concerned not only with the actual means of transportation such as planes, buses and cars, but also with transportation hubs,” said Dr. Walk.

“When people are lined up to board a bus or plane,” he said, social distances become more difficult and viral infections are more likely.

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Driving in a car also carries risks, as travelers can be exposed at rest areas and gas stations. If Americans choose to travel, they must wash their hands, wear masks, and maintain social distance, CDC officials said.

Dr. Walk and others had a hard time distinguishing between families. Many Americans believe it is safe to get together with their families, even if they don’t live together. In fact, most scientists say that only other members of the family are safe companies.

Researchers define a household as people who have lived together under the same roof for the past 14 days. The definition may apply to unrelated roommates who share a living quarter, but may exclude close relatives who live away from their parents.

The new recommendations are a special headache for families who are hoping for college students to return home, or for families who want to accept adult children living in different homes. Neither child is part of the household.

The university encourages students (many returning home for the rest of the semester) to be tested for coronavirus before departure, but CDC staff approve the test before they meet for Thanksgiving. not.

According to the authorities, the test is not absolutely certain, and the negative result only indicates that “it was probably not infected at the time the sample was collected.”

Federal officials say that if members of another household are gathering at someone’s house for a Thanksgiving meal, everyone must wear a mask and stay 6 feet away, except when eating. Said.

It is advisable to wash your hands with soap and water. Do not shake hands or shake hands. When gathering inside, wear a mask as much as possible when not eating. Windows and doors should be kept as open as possible to improve ventilation.

The CDC’s advice has gone as far as encouraging people to speak in a low voice. Because screaming or singing can spread the virus. According to federal officials, only one person will serve meals. If you have guests, you will need your own bathroom.

Other medical institutions also issued disastrous warnings on Thursday. In a rare “open letter to Americans,” a group of doctors, nurses, and hospitals jointly urged people to reduce their holiday gatherings.

The letter did not explicitly discourage travel, but the group said that Covid-19 cases surged after other holidays such as July 4th and Labor Day, and health care systems were already in many parts of the country. He said he had reached the limit.

Michael Shear contributed to the report from Washington, and Karen Zraick, Shawn Hubler, and Niraj Chokshi contributed to the report from New York. Jill Cowan contributed a report from Los Angeles.

CDC begs Americans to stay home for Thanksgiving

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