UPDATE: The CDC Is Urging Americans to Stay Home for Thanksgiving

The Centers for Disease Control wants Americans to stay home this Thanksgiving amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The CDC just held their first press briefing in months, recommending against traveling for the holiday and keeping celebrations to just members of the immediate household, meaning anyone who’s lived with them already for at least 14 days prior to the holiday.

“The tragedy that could happen is one of your family members, from coming together in a family gathering, could wind up hospitalized and severely ill and could die. We don’t want to see that happen. This year we’re asking people to be as safe as possible,” said the CDC’s Dr. Henry Walke.

They added that they are “alarmed” about the rise in new infections, which have gone up 77 percent. Nearly 80,000 Americans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

“Amid this critical phase, the CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving period,” he went on to say.

They also asked people to consider the case and hospitalization rates in their area, if they will be with high-risk family members and if they have been around people outside of their household.

“If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes,’ you should consider making other plans, such as hosting a virtual gathering or delaying your travel. It’s important to talk with the people you live with and your family and friends about the risks of traveling.”

If you are still set on gathering with others, the CDC advises wearing a secure mask, staying six feet away from other people, holding the meal outdoors and having each household bring their own utensils, and even their own foods and drinks.

Alternative ideas include holding the meal virtually, dropping off foods at homes, and shopping online instead of heading out for Black Friday.