Experts give advice on how to celebrate Thanksgiving safely

(WSVN) - Thanksgiving is almost here, and it’s no surprise it will be different due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think we need to reconsider, in general, how we do that,” said Dr. Suraj Saggar with Holy Name Medical Center.

The pandemic is forcing families across the country to rethink their holiday plans for 2020.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new guidelines to help people celebrate safely and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

“We are having a very significant upward climb in cases in our community, as we are throughout the entire United States,” said FIU Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Aileen Marty. “The current recommendations are to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people if they’re not from the same household.”

The experts all seem to agree virtual gatherings are the safest option this year.

Those who still plan on having a get together are advised to keep the number small, have guests stay six feet apart and wear a mask when not eating.

Buffet-style serving is not recommended.

“Do not have people from different households line up to receive food,” said Dr. Marty. “Get the food to each table individually, for the individual tables to share.”

The CDC suggests individuals bring their own food if they plan on celebrating the holiday outside of their own home.

Hosts should make sure there’s good ventilation in the home, or should serve the food outside.

“Outside meetings are infinitely safer, so I would say the medium-risk category. If you want to have neighbors over and friends over, you don’t just want to limit it to your immediate family, well, try to have it outdoor on your deck or patio, etc.,” said Dr. Saggar.

The CDC also recommends telling guests to avoid singing or shouting.

“The droplets are the main issue here,” said Dr. Saggar.

The CDC is strongly warning against traveling for the holidays, but those who are planning on going somewhere or hosting people from out of town, are advised to ask their guests to quarantine before coming over.

“The data is very clear that the vast majority of transmissions are happening in these family gatherings, these friend gatherings where you’re mixing households,” said Dr. Marty.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.