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CDC recommends virtual Thanksgiving this year

FILE — A family celebrates Thanksgiving. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
FILE — A family celebrates Thanksgiving. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
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HUNT VALLEY, Md. (SBG) — UPDATE 10/5/21: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention removed their 2021 holiday guidance Tuesday and said the update was a mishap. The agency said its recommendations for virtual gatherings that mirrored 2020 guidance does not reflect this year's, and new suggestions are coming soon.

Original story from Monday below.

Despite vaccinations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends people celebrate Thanksgiving virtually this year.

Updated guidance states that attending gatherings for events and holidays still increases the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19, especially with the threat of the highly transmissible delta variant.

“Safer ways” to celebrate the holidays, the CDC said, include hosting a video chat party, having an outdoor celebration with everyone six feet apart, waving to neighbors from a safe distance and avoiding contact with others.

If gatherings take place outdoors, masks may not be needed unless the groups are crowded and a high COVID risk is present.

If families still choose to celebrate indoors with people outside the household, the CDC said anyone not fully vaccinated should wear a mask and windows and doors should be open, along with installing a window fan to pull in fresh air.

The agency also suggested having “conversations ahead of time to understand expectations for celebrating together.”

Travel is not recommended unless individuals are fully vaccinated. Even so, travelers must still wear masks on public transportation.

The recommendations are just for Halloween and Thanksgiving as of now.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Sunday on CBS that he couldn’t predict what guidance will be for Christmas this year.

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“It’s just too soon to tell,” he said. “We’ve just got to concentrate on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we’re going to do at a particular time.”

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