Health experts question holiday gatherings during pandemic

Posted at 2:07 PM, Oct 15, 2020

CLEVELAND, Ohio - We’re a little over a month away from Thanksgiving and health officials are more concerned than ever thinking about spiking coronavirus cases as families may be planning to gather for the holiday.

“We had seen a decrease in cases from our peak, of course, which was in July and we were down into the 40s per day of receiving cases until the mid-last week. Then it started to go up from there," said Romona Brazile, Interim Co-Director of Prevention and Wellness Services at Cuyahoga County Board of Health. "Of course, we want to see our families, but limiting the number of people, still trying to practice social distancing even if it is in your own home, still wearing a mask."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease agrees. His own family is now sacrificing not seeing each other as his children worry about his age and possible exposure to the virus.

“Don't assume that because you're in your own home with your own family that you're not going to spread infection,” he said.

Even traveling to see our families is risky. Dr. Fauci said travel on planes and public transportation could increase exposure to the virus.

Instead, the CDC is offering up some suggestions on ways you can still have a holiday celebration with friends and family while being safe.

The agency said celebrating virtually is your best bet, but if you do meet up in person make sure you stay outside as much as possible and avoid crowds. The CDC also said gatherings with more preventive measures in place pose less risk compared to gatherings with fewer or no preventive measures at all.

After any holiday celebrations, you should stay at home as much as possible, avoid crowds and those considered at risk. You may even want to think about getting tested for the coronavirus.

This story was first published by Taneisha Cordell at WEWS in Cleveland, Ohio.