Fauci: Gathering over the holidays during COVID ‘is a risk’

October 29, 2020
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Whether it's being worried about COVID-19 or traveling during the holidays, Dr. Anthony Fauci gives specific advice about family gatherings during the holiday season.

By the time families celebrate Thanksgiving, Americans will be experiencing more than eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"When you have people coming in from out of town gathering in an indoor setting ... it's such a sacred part of American tradition—the family gathering around Thanksgiving—but that is a risk," Fauci said during a CBS news interview.

MSN created a list of Fauci's recent interview points about safety tips for family gatherings during the global coronavirus outbreak.

Here are tips from Dr. Fauci for celebrating the holidays in a smart way

Celebrate the holiday with a small group of people or host a virtual event: When it comes to social gatherings, Fauci told CBS News that it is essential to be very careful about small gatherings.

"You may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice the social gathering unless you're pretty certain that the people that you're dealing with are not infected ... either they've been very recently tested or they're living a lifestyle in which they don't have an interaction with anyone but you and your family,” Fauci added.

Just because you feel alright, doesn't mean that you do not have COVID: "Household transmission is assuming a greater element of the transmissibility," Fauci said.

In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention returned to its previous testing guidance, getting rid of language posted last month that said people who didn't feel sick didn't need to get tested. That change had set off a slew of criticism from health experts who couldn't fathom why the nation's top public health agency would say such a thing amid a pandemic that has been difficult to control.

The CDC now advises anyone who has been within 6 feet of a person with documented infection for at least 15 minutes should get a test. The agency called the changes a “clarification” that was needed “due to the significance of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission.”

Travel early: Fauci advises family members to get tested for COVID before gathering, and make travel plans for earlier than usual to avoid congestion.

If you are traveling by plane, some may see how TSA checkpoints have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Passengers are slowly returning to airports this holiday season, but may see a significant difference when waiting in line for security. Next time you’re in line, you will see plexiglass to separate officers from passengers and stickers on the floor to keep travelers 6 feet apart. Another option you may see is a self-service kiosk that checks your identification and then matches it to your airline ticket record.

Keep things small: "When people do things in crowds without masks—particularly indoors—it's just asking for trouble," Fauci said. "We know without a doubt that those are the events that have spreading among people."

Wear a face mask: Fauci explained how relatives should wear a face mask in front of other family members who do not live in their house.

Fauci revealed that he will not be spending Thanksgiving with his daughters.

"Dad, you know you're a young, vigorous guy, but you're 79 years old,” Fauci recalled them saying.

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