News & Opinion | November 11, 2020 10:58 am

CDC Urges Americans to Keep Thanksgiving Outdoors This Year

As COVID-19 cases continue to spike, eating outside is the safest option

outdoor dining
Your Thanksgiving dinner could look something like this.
Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and the CDC has updated its guidelines about the holiday in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. As cases continue to spike across the country, the public health agency is now urging those who are planning on hosting Thanksgiving gatherings to keep them outdoors as a precaution.

In addition to the outdoor dining suggestion, the CDC issued some of its usual recommendations on how to prevent spreading the virus during the holiday: limit the number of guests, wear a mask, stay at least six feet away from people who don’t live with you, and wash your hands frequently.

However, the agency also issued some new Thanksgiving-specific recommendations, including limiting the number of people in food preparation areas and having guests bring their own food and drink. If you’re going to be sharing food, the CDC recommends having one person serve it and using single-use items like plastic utensils.

Last week, in an appearance on MSNBC, Dr. Anthony Fauci said those still planning on traveling home for Thanksgiving will have to do some “risk assessment.” “You really need to make a decision,” he said. “Do I want to put that person at an increased risk by having people coming in from all parts of the country, usually in a crowded airport, without necessarily knowing if they’re infected, without having time to get tested or time to do quarantine?”