Tag: Thanksgiving

Governors Are Urging Americans Not To Travel For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving weekend is normally one of the busiest travel periods of the year. But with Covid-19 infections increasing at a record-setting pace across the country, a growing number of governors are urging residents to nix their Thanksgiving travel plans.

“This might be a good year not to travel,” said Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker during a press conference yesterday. Baker added that most states have travel restrictions in place because travel “shows up quite a bit in a lot of the contact tracing.”

“The numbers aren’t good,” said Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo yesterday in her weekly briefing. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it.” Raimondo urged Rhode Islanders to scale back their Thanksgiving holiday plans by avoiding out-of-state travel and limiting gatherings to family members who live within the same household. “This is the best way to avoid spreading the virus to our loved and for us, as a state, to avoid having major problems in the weeks after Thanksgiving.”

Last week, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said that people should not travel or invite out-of-state family to New Jersey. “Sadly, we are seeing more and more family gatherings as the sparks for these outbreaks,” said the governor. “We urge you to not gather around the dining room table with anyone outside your immediate household. And if you do, to limit that reach to only a limited number of close relatives.”

Murphy has joined New Governor Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont in a statement urging “all of our residents to avoid unnecessary or non-essential travel between states at this time.”

And, at a press briefing last week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine encouraged families to re-think their Thanksgiving plans in the name of safety, saying, “If you are going to do it safely you are not going to do it like last year.”

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Meanwhile, Governor Gavin Newsom’s latest set of restrictions on gatherings makes it virtually impossible for Californians to host anything but a small Thanksgiving with immediate family.

“Gatherings should be two hours or less. The longer the duration, the risk of transmission increases,” reads one of 19 bullet points. “People at gatherings may remove their face coverings briefly to eat or drink as long as they stay at least six feet away from everyone outside their own household, and put their face covering back on as soon as they are done with the activity.”

Those restrictions may sound draconian. But they are largely in line with the recently issued detailed guidance for Thanksgiving from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which deems “attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household” to be high risk.

“Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes Covid-19,” according to the guidance. “Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.”

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Infectious Disease Expert Contradicts Anthony Fauci, Reveals How Thanksgiving Travel Could Be Safe

While Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning against large family gatherings and travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., another health expert is saying that those who utilize proper precautions should be okay to do some traveling over the holidays.

Speaking to WPTV, an NBC affiliate station, Dr. Kleper De Almeida, an infectious disease specialist with JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, Florida, said that he felt travel could take place over the holiday season, including Thanksgiving, so long as those choosing to travel did so in a smart and safe way.

“As long as people take the measures that we should be applying every day, it would be safe to travel,” he said. “We need to be very mindful of that while we travel to protect ourselves from exposure, and in doing so, minimizing the risk of bringing it back to our communities.”

De Almeida’s comments directly contradict ones made by Fauci, who is the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and has been seen as the face of COVID-19, as he repeatedly warns Americans of rising infection rates and encourages mask use and social distancing. However, while those measures can help slow the spread, he has warned against letting them be the sole means of protection when it comes to considering a larger gathering for Thanksgiving and even admitted that he was taking precautions by not spending the holiday with his own daughters.

“That is unfortunately a risk, when you have people coming from out of town, gathering together in an indoor setting,” Fauci said. It is unfortunate, because that’s such a sacred part of American tradition—the family gathering around Thanksgiving. But that is a risk.”

The CDC echoed Fauci’s concerns with their guidelines for the holiday season, and traditional events that draw large crowds, like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, are going virtual to try and prevent the spread.

The United States currently stands at more than 8 million total COVID-19 infections reported and 218,000 deaths, with more than 70,000 new cases reported Friday, the largest increase since July. According to statistics from the New York Times, a total of 29 states continue to report high numbers of cases, while 16 other states are starting to report upticks.

In the past seven days, states that have seen high surges in percentages of cases have been North and South Dakota, which have seen more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents, with Montana, Wisconsin and Nebraska also reporting high numbers, with more than 300 cases per 100,000 residents. Currently, the only states that have seen less than 100 infections per 100,000 people (less than 0.001 percent), have been Vermont, Maine, Hawaii, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, California, Washington, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Virginia, Florida, Delaware, Georgia and Louisiana.

Fauci said the government would not make any future COVID-19 vaccine obligatory for the general public Fauci said the government would not make any future COVID-19 vaccine obligatory for the general public Photo: POOL / Al Drago

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