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CDC urges Americans to avoid Thanksgiving parades, large indoor gatherings


The agency recommends ditching some traditions for the holiday, citing coronavirus fears

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued recommendations for Americans planning festivities for the Thanksgiving holiday in November, deeming crowded parades and large indoor gatherings to be "higher risk activities" due to COVID-19.

What are the details?

The guidance suggests that "staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others," but to be aware of the risks involved "if you must travel."

It also lists traditional activities in categories from lower to moderate to higher risk.

Higher risk activities include:

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

Small outdoor gatherings, visiting pumpkin patches and attending small outdoor sporting events are considered moderate risk activities, and lower risk activities listed include having a small dinner with only the people who live in your household, or having a virtual dinner rather than meeting for the holiday in person.

Before the CDC issued its memo, Macy's announced that it would modify its famous Thanksgiving Day parade this year due to COVID-19, saying the procession will not be live. It will be viewed only on television and without spectators on the streets of New York City as it has for the past 90-plus years.

Fox News reported:

Out-of-state marching bands will have to wait until 2021 to participate, and local musical performers will take their place. The total number of participants will be down 75% from last year, Macy's said, and those who do participate will be socially distanced and wear face masks.

The Thanksgiving guidelines were issued by the CDC after the agency warned against trick-or-treating for Halloween in 2020, deeming it higher risk along with trunk-or-treat events, hayrides, and other festivities associated with the fall celebration.

The Hill noted Monday that the coronavirus pandemic "has infected more than 7.1 million and killed 204,905 people in the U.S.," according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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