The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that it is “strongly” recommending Americans to avoid travel to see family members and friends during Thanksgiving.
“As we see an exponential growth in cases and the possibility of transferring disease or infection from one part of the country to another leads us to recommend avoiding travel at this time,” said Dr Henry Walke, CDC Covid -19 responsible for the incident, during a briefing with reporters held Thursday.
“We are alarmed,” he said, referring to the 1 million new cases of the coronavirus reported over the past week, and the increase in hospitalizations nationwide. The United States also reported more than 250,898 deaths from Covid-19 on Wednesday.
Before Thursday, the CDC had urged Americans to consider the risks associated with travel and meeting with people who are not part of your household but who do not explicitly advise against travel.
That said, some 50 million Americans are expected to travel, mostly by car, from Wednesday, November 25 to Sunday, November 29, according to AAA. It’s only 5 million less Americans who traveled for vacation last year.
Walke cautioned against the risk of transmission both due to the mode of travel and the need to go through transportation hubs such as airports, bus and train stations, and gas stations. “When people line up and wait to get on the bus or plane, people tend to congregate and cannot maintain their distance,” he said.
In addition to the updated recommendation against travel, the CDC has updated its definition of a household.
“If people have not actively lived with you during the 14 days leading up to your celebration, they are not considered a member of your household and therefore you should take these extra precautions, even while wearing masks in your home. “said Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz, head of community response and the critical population working group at CDC.
“There are reasons to be hopeful. We are all excited about the news about a vaccine, ”Walke added during Thursday’s briefing. “But it’s not there yet. When it does happen, mitigation measures will always be just as important to protect us, our loved ones and our fellow citizens. “