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ATLANTA — In a typical year, the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the most traveled holidays of the year. Of course, with the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 has not been a typical year.

Experts say that Thanksgiving holiday week will be a critical time for fighting the Covid-19 virus. With hospitals reaching capacity throughout the United States, it is fearful the worst is yet to come.

To avoid a sad Christmas, experts are recommending people stay home on Thanksgiving.

This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted some strict guidelines to help keep Americans safe and healthy over the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to the CDC, a safe Thanksgiving is possible during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Their advice is to stay home, don’t travel and if you must gather, do it outdoors.

"Traditional Thanksgiving gatherings with family and friends are fun but can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu," the agency said in its updated guidance. "Follow these tips to make your Thanksgiving holiday safer."

The guidance comes as Covid-19 numbers have begun to surge again. This week alone, the daily positive coronavirus cases have been record breaking.

"The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people in your household," the agency said. "If you do plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, take steps to make your celebration safer."

When gathering with family or friends outside of your household, you should wear a facial mask (which covers your nose and mouth), stay six feet away from people who do not live with you, and keep your hands clean.

The CDC also strongly recommends bringing your own plate, cups, and utensils, store your mask safely while eating and drinking, avoid going in and out of the kitchen while food is being prepared, and using single use options for condiments and food containers.

If you are traveling, the guidance emphasizes checking travel restrictions, getting your flu shot, wearing a mask, distancing, and washing hands often in public places.

CLICK HERE for the full CDC guidelines

The following people should not attend in-person holiday gatherings:

People with or exposed to COVID-19

Do not host or participate in any in-person gatherings if you or anyone in your household:

Has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not met the criteria for when it is safe to be around others.

Has symptoms of COVID-19.

Is waiting for COVID-19 viral test results.

May have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

Is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Do not host or attend gatherings with anyone who has COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

People at increased risk for severe illness

If you are an older adult or person with certain medical conditions who is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or live or work with someone at increased risk of severe illness, you should avoid in-person gatherings with people who do not live in your household.

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