Thanksgiving Travel Will Create The Next Big Superspreader Event, Fear Experts

As the United States comes off back-to-back days with record-setting levels of new Covid-19 cases, public health experts and a growing number of state governors are raising red flags that the Thanksgiving travel weekend is shaping up to be a superspreader event.

We only have to look north for a cautionary tale. Canadians celebrated their Thanksgiving holiday less than a month ago, and now the country is seeing a dramatic surge in cases across the country.

Before the holiday on October 12, Canadian leaders had warned citizens to limit celebrations to their own households. “The care we show each other today will help protect all of us tomorrow,” British Columbia’s top health officials said in a released statement in early October.

“Stay home with the people you live with. Resist the temptation to see your friends and family,” the Quebec Premier François Legault told his constituents days before the holiday.

As Covid-19 cases have climbed in recent weeks, top healthcare officials in Ontario, Alberta and other provinces have blamed Thanksgiving travel for the subsequent spikes there, according to reports in multiple Canadian news outlets.

Weeks before Thanksgiving will be celebrated in America, Covid-19 is spreading faster in the U.S. than at any time since the pandemic began — more than three times faster than in Canada, according to the risk-assessment map run by the Harvard Global Health Institute and Brown School of Public Health.

Over a seven-day rolling average, the U.S. is currently at 27.4 new daily cases per 100,000 people, which puts the country “at a tipping point,” according to Harvard-Brown data. In Canada, comparatively, the incidence rate is 8.3 new cases per day, per 100,000 people.

MORE FROM FORBESTravel Alert: America’s Current Covid-19 Surge Won’t End Until 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for Thanksgiving 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 CDC. “Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.”

In recent weeks, the governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Ohio have asked their residents to spend Thanksgiving at home. A week ago, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed his concern. “I think you’re going to see the number increase even more after Thanksgiving and it’s going to be coming into December when you run into the flu season,” Cuomo said in a press briefing last Friday.

Yesterday in Illinois, Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike recommended that people avoid traveling over Thanksgiving weekend to areas of high risk. And that, she said, “is almost everywhere.”


Source Article