To avoid Covid, here are four questions to ask family and friends before Thanksgiving gatherings

If you’re worried, experts say there are some important questions to ask to help weigh your risk: Are people around you vaccinated? Have they been tested? Should you open windows when indoors?

Of those planning to focus on this Thanksgiving, 30% said guests would include unvaccinated people, and another 17% said they didn’t know if guests would be vaccinated – meaning nearly half of survey respondents, 47%, might be around unvaccinated people for the holiday.

Should you go to Thanksgiving dinner with your unvaccinated uncle?  Experts help make decisions
According to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unvaccinated people are six times more likely to test positive for Covid-19 than those who have been vaccinated. said during the White House briefing Second.

“Infection among the unvaccinated continues to drive this pandemic, hospitalizations and deaths – tragically, at a time when we have a vaccine that can provide protection,” said Walensky. amazing. “As we approach the Thanksgiving break, I wanted to take a moment to think about where we were a year ago. I can remember waiting so long for life-saving vaccines. birth that we now have at our fingertips.”

She added, “We will be encouraging those who gather to do so safely once they have been fully vaccinated, as we’ve been saying for months now.”

To celebrate safely, here are four questions to ask friends and family before gatherings.

Question 1: Have you been vaccinated?

Knowing the immunization status of those around you can help determine if you should take certain precautions during holiday gatherings, such as wearing a mask or keeping your distance.

Since his family members are fully vaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institutes of Health, said that he will be spending the holidays with his family – and the removal of masks when everyone is vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated family members can celebrate the holiday without wearing masks, Fauci said.
“That’s what I will do with my family,” Fauci told CNN’s Dana Bash on State of the Union on Sunday. But he also added that when you are traveling or do not pay attention to the vaccination status of those around you, wear a mask.

“It’s the safety net – it’s the vaccination,” Fauci said.

“Get vaccinated and you can enjoy the holiday very easily, and if not, be careful,” Fauci added. “Get tested if you need to get tested when the two of you see each other, but it’s not a substitute for vaccinations. Get yourself vaccinated and you can continue to enjoy interactions with family and friends. is different.”

Someone is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they receive a second dose of Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna coronavirus vaccine or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Almost 60% of the US population is fully immunized, but about 82 million people – more than a third of those eligible – have yet to receive their first dose of the drug, a CNN analysis of CDC data shows.

Question 2: Have you been tested?

Some families may be trying to determine if they should ask Thanksgiving guests to get tested, especially if guests haven’t been vaccinated.

“I think it’s a reasonable idea for that extra level of protection. It’s not a firm claim, but I think if you want to take that extra step, especially when you’re in an area. an area with a lot of infections and people are traveling, it’s not unreasonable to say everyone takes the test – one of those quick tests – 24 hours or so before you go with everyone indoors,” Fauci said on Monday in an appearance on CBS This Morning.

He added: “You can do an antigen test. “It’s not the most sensitive of the tests, but it can tell you when you have enough virus in your nasopharynx to transmit.”

CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr Sanjay Gupta calls home Covid-19 testing “one of the best tools we have” right now to stay safe during the pandemic.

“I don’t think we talk about them enough. I don’t think we think about them enough,” Gupta said in latest episode of his Chasing Life podcast.

“Remember, let’s say you’ve been vaccinated, but still want to make sure you’re not likely to carry the virus, which can happen. What you can do is you can do a rapid antigen test. to be able to give you a pretty accurate answer to the question you’re really asking: Are you contagious? That’s what you really want to know,” Gupta said, adding that such a test can can be purchased over-the-counter for about $20.

Question 3: Should we jailbreak to open a window?

Air ventilation is an important thing to think about during large gatherings, Gupta says on his podcast.

“We know that this virus is airborne. It’s airborne. So the more you can get the air moving, the better,” Gupta said.

“Actually, the way to think about it is to think of a virus like cigarette smoke. If there’s smoke outside, you’re less likely to breathe it in, right? But indoors, if you have that smoke, too, it will increase the chances of those particles being inhaled,” he added. “Even cracking the window a little can help.”

Question 4: Does anyone at serious risk need me to wear a mask?

Even when certain mitigations are in place — knowing who’s vaccinated and who hasn’t, testing guests, and improving ventilation — it can be helpful to know who at the Thanksgiving table has at high risk of severe Covid-19 illness to help protect them.

Some guests, who are at increased risk of severe Covid-19 due to age or underlying health conditions, may prefer to wear their own masks and that of others.

“If people were generally healthy and they got vaccinated and boosted their health, maybe people would ditch their masks and eat a very normal Thanksgiving meal,” CNN’s Dr. Leana Wen told CNN. John King on Tuesday.

“On the other hand, if you have young children who have not been vaccinated or who are severely immunocompromised, you may want an extra level of protection – being outdoors, opening all the windows in your home or doing quick test of the day for everyone,” said Wen, an emergency medicine physician and professor of health policy and management at the Milken School of Public Health at George Washington University. “That helps ensure that everyone stays healthy from Covid and safe from Covid this Thanksgiving.”

Overall, “no one wants to spread Covid to their loved ones,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, former CDC director and now president and chief executive officer of the global nonprofit Resolve to Save Lives , wrote in a Twitter post Second.

“It’s important that we make sure everyone present at the Thanksgiving table is vaccinated and consider other layers of protection, including wearing masks when not eating, opening windows, and checking people with may have been exposed,” Frieden tweeted.

These kinds of conversations can be hard for some people — but being open with loved ones about your concerns is key, Gupta says on his podcast.

“I think it’s important to remember to have an open conversation with people who want to spend the holidays. Let’s talk about it now,” says Gupta. “Let them know your concerns, what could make you and your family feel safer, and basically go from there.”

CNN’s Deidre McPhillips contributed to this report.


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