CDC: "Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu."

PITTSBURGH (CBS NEWS) — The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention is now urging Americans not to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday as coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country.

The agency’s updated guidance says the safest way to celebrate is “at home with the people you live with.”

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“Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu,” the guidance says. “Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.”

The CDC said more than one million virus cases were reported across the country in the last seven days.

“We’re alarmed with the exponential growth in cases and we want to get these recommendations out,” Dr. Henry Walke, the agency’s COVID-19 incident manager, said in a briefing Thursday. “What we’re concerned about isn’t just the actual mode of travel but also the transportation hubs.”

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The CDC is recommending people ask themselves these questions as they consider their plans. They say if you answer “yes” to one or more of them, you should consider making alternate plans.

  • Are you, someone in your household, or someone you will be visiting at increased risk for getting very sick from COVID-19?
  • Are cases high or increasing in your community or your destination? Check CDC’s COVID Data Tracker for the latest number of cases.
  • Are hospitals in your community or your destination overwhelmed with patients who have COVID-19? To find out, check state and local public health department websites.
  • Does your home or destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers? Check state and local requirements before you travel.
  • During the 14 days before your travel, have you or those you are visiting had close contact with people they don’t live with?
  • Do your plans include traveling by bus, train, or air which might make staying 6 feet apart difficult?
  • Are you traveling with people who don’t live with you?

If you must travel, the CDC is urging you to check travel restrictions before you leave, get a flu shot, always wear a mask in public, wash your hands often, and bring extra supplies.

However, they are recommending virtual dinners as a much safer way to celebrate. For example, setting a certain time with family and reaching out to them digitally to eat dinner or share other activities together.

For more information and all the CDC’s recommendations, visit their website here.

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