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Here's how you can protect yourself and your family over Thanksgiving
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Here's how you can protect yourself and your family over Thanksgiving

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The holidays are a beloved time of year for many people as they plan to spend time with loved ones. But as the U.S. continues to see record numbers of COVID-19 cases, you are right to look at steps you can take this holiday season to protect yourself and your family.

As you are make holiday plans, consider these tips and recommendations to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Limit in-person gatherings

Over the years, holiday events may have been a wonderful tradition and a great opportunity for friends and family to reconnect. But in-person gatherings pose varying levels of risk for exposure to COVID-19. To keep you and your family safe, consider limiting in-person holiday celebrations to those living in your immediate household.

If you gather with family or friends from other households, it is important to discuss with them in advance how to minimize everyone’s risk of exposure. Although it may feel awkward to wear a face mask around your family, it is important to remain vigilant.

People who are at increased risk for illness should avoid in-person gatherings.

Consider alternatives

Instead of eating closely together around the Thanksgiving table, as you normally would, spread out. Hold celebrations outdoors, if possible. Consider a hike or family walk as the “main event” with everyone masked, as opposed to having everyone gather for a meal together.

As an alternative to in-person gatherings, connect with friends and family by phone or video technology. Plug your mobile device into your TV or put your computer at the end of the table to “share across the miles.” Order dessert for yourself and long-distance loved ones and have it delivered, and share things you are thankful for while enjoying a meal together.

Be mindful when traveling

The holidays are usually among the busiest time of year for travel. Though it is still recommended that you limit travel, if you do plan to venture away from home, do your homework and consider extra precautions to keep yourself safe.

Consider the risks associated with different types of travel before committing to plans. There might be a risk of getting COVID-19 on a crowded flight if other travelers on board are infected. On a bus or train, sitting or standing within 6 feet of others for a prolonged period can put you at risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. Traveling by car or recreational vehicle often involves stops that could put you in close contact with infected people.

Plan to bring cleaning supplies with you to disinfect all high-touch surfaces. This may be particularly important in crowded transportation areas, such as train stations or airports.

RELATED: TSA shares tips for 2020 Thanksgiving holiday travel

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