TAMPA, Fla — A surge in COVID-19 cases has government leaders across the nation taking sweeping measures.
California now has a statewide stay-at-home order from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. for everyone but essential workers. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning Americans to stay home for Thanksgiving to curb cases.
“In the last seven days, we have seen over a million cases reported of COVID-19. We've also seen dramatic increases in hospitalizations and also increasing deaths,” Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz of the Centers for Disease Control told CBS News.
“So, knowing that people are looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday and getting together to celebrate, we felt that it was imperative to make a stronger push to recommend not traveling for the holidays.”
It’s advice Darla Saunders of Tampa is taking seriously. "We are having a small traditional Thanksgiving. We're doing it because we want to be safe,” she said.
Saunders said she and her husband will be distributing food baskets to local families in need, but that will be the extent of her holiday travels.
The CDC sent out a warning to families on Thursday, urging Thanksgiving celebrations to be limited to those living in the same household.
"But if those people haven't been living with you in the 14 days before you're together, they shouldn't be considered a member of your household,” Dr. Sauber-Schatz said.
It's a tough ask for families set on being together, and a warning some wanted to see sooner.
“People have plans and those plans are already made,” said Dr. Marissa Levine of the University of South Florida. “So, we're in a tough place right now."
Over the last week, the CDC says we've had a million cases of COVID-19 nationwide. Doctors say we risk an even bigger increase of cases if we aren't careful over the holidays.
“We may have to sacrifice a little bit this year,” said Dr. Levine. “I want all the loved ones to be here with me next year so that we can celebrate the kind of Thanksgiving that we've been used to in the past.”
If you must travel, the CDC says to be mindful of travel restrictions at your destination, find out if hospitals in the area are overwhelmed should you need care, be prepared with hand sanitizer and extra masks--preferably ones that have two or more layers and get your flu shot before leaving.
“If you have not traveled reconsider your plans,” Dr. Levine said. “If you have to travel really think deeply about what you have to do to protect yourself.”
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