The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adjusted its guidance Thursday to recommend that Americans do not travel for the Thanksgiving holiday next week.
The agency recommends that Americans celebrate the holiday at home with the people they live with, as gathering with family and friends from outside of the household can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.
These new guidelines come one day after the United States marked the grim milestone of a quarter-million COVID-19 deaths. The CDC now estimates between 276,000 and 298,000 deaths by Dec. 12.
In the last week alone, health officials confirmed 1 million new coronavirus cases in the U.S.
Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC's COVID-19 incident manager, said it's important to avoid transmission through transit and transportation hubs. He also emphasized the risk of gathering with loved ones that may live in close proximity.
"These times are tough. It's been a long ... almost 11 months now, and people are tired. And we understand that, and people want to see their relatives and their friends. And the way they've always done it. But this year, particularly, we're asking people to be as safe as possible, and limit their travel," Walke said.
If people do travel or gather with other households, the CDC urges them to continue to follow the guidance to wash hands frequently, wear masks when around people outside your household, and try to have the Thanksgiving meal outside or with windows open.
Previous CDC guidance recommended celebrating Thanksgiving with members of the same household or virtually, but this goes a step further to actively recommend against travel.