A safe Thanksgiving during a pandemic is possible, but health experts know their advice is as tough to swallow as dry turkey: Stay home. Don’t travel. If you must gather, do it outdoors.
With a fall surge of coronavirus infections gripping the U.S., many Americans are forgoing tradition and getting creative with celebrations.
On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its holiday guidance, noting the virus crisis is worsening and that small household gatherings are “an important contributor.” The CDC said older adults and others at heightened risk of severe illness should avoid gathering with people outside their households.
Experts point to Canada, where Thanksgiving was celebrated Oct. 12. Clusters of cases tied to family gatherings followed. “This sucks. It really, really does,” Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said two weeks later.
There’s no need to cancel the holiday. Spending time with loved ones is important for health too, said Lacy Fehrenbach, Washington state deputy secretary of health. Read more:
Here’s an update on all developments. Scroll or swipe further for in-depth coverage.
- U.S. health officials have allowed emergency use of the first antibody drug to help the immune system fight COVID-19, an experimental approach against the virus that has killed more than 238,000 Americans.
- After reporting 100,000 new coronavirus infections seven days in a row, the US has now surpassed a total of more than 10 million cases since the start of the pandemic — far more than any other country. And that number will likely keep rapidly climbing, one expert told CNN.
- Moscow authorities announced two-month restrictions in the Russian capital as coronavirus infections soar across the country.
- In Italy lines of ambulances park outside hospitals awaiting beds, and in France the government coronavirus tracking app prominently displays the intensive care capacity taken up by COVID-19 patients: 92.5% and rising. In the ICU in Barcelona, there is no end in sight for the doctors and nurses who endured this once already.
- Pfizer Inc. said Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine may be a remarkable 90% effective, based on early and incomplete test results that nevertheless brought a big burst of optimism to a world desperate for the means to finally bring the catastrophic outbreak under control.
- Brazil’s health regulator has halted clinical trials of the potential coronavirus vaccine CoronaVac, citing an “adverse, serious event.”