November 27, 2020

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CDC Weighs In On Traveling, Gatherings

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NEW JERSEY — Much as it has upended schools, sports and Halloween, the coronavirus pandemic...

NEW JERSEY — Much as it has upended schools, sports and Halloween, the coronavirus pandemic could reshape how New Jersey families gather for Thanksgiving.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shared guidelines on how New Jersey families can have a safe holiday, recommending smaller dinners, virtual gatherings and lower-to-moderate-risk activities.

The New Jersey Department of Health is expected to release its own guidelines for the Garden State within the next month, much as it did for Halloween on Monday. Read more: Gov. Murphy Issues NJ Halloween Rules, Guidance Amid Coronavirus

New Jersey’s recommendations may mirror the CDC’s since much of the state’s economy has reopened in recent months, but a recent uptick in cases could compel Gov. Phil Murphy to take more restrictive steps before Thanksgiving. Read more: Gov. Murphy: NJ May Stop Reopenings If COVID-19 Cases Keep Rising

The CDC says holiday travel isn’t advised because it poses a higher risk of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is best, the experts said.

If you do travel, the CDC wants people to be aware of the risks. High-risk activities include:

  • Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on or after Thanksgiving.

  • Participating in or being a spectator at a crowded race.

  • Attending crowded parades.

  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors.

  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household.

Moderate-risk activities

  • Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community. You can lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.

  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing.

  • Attending a small outdoor sports events with safety precautions in place.

Lower-risk activities

  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household

  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others

  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family

  • Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday

  • Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home

Globally, more than 32.6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 999,000 people have died from it, Johns Hopkins University reported Monday.

In the United States, more than 7 million people have been infected and more than 204,000 people have died from COVID-19 as of Monday. The U.S. has only about 4 percent of the world’s population but more confirmed cases and deaths than any other country.

This article originally appeared on the Wayne Patch

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