CDC Tells Americans to ‘Stay at Home and Not Travel’ for Christmas

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discouraged Americans from Christmas travel due to the coronavirus pandemic during a telephone press conference Wednesday.

“We did put out a message to postpone and stay at home […] around Thanksgiving and we’re putting out the same message: The best thing for Americans to do in the upcoming holiday season is to stay at home and not travel,” Dr. Henry Walke, director of the Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, said in the briefing.

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Walke said the CDC has guidance concerning travel should people decide to do so, and said the CDC is “releasing guidance related to consider testing before and after travel” on Wednesday.

The CDC’s guidance discourages travel to avoid the coronavirus, but recommends testing should someone choose to travel, according to the organization’s website. The CDC encouraged people to weigh “getting tested” within certain days before and after traveling.

Dr. Cindy Friedman, chief of the Travelers’ Health Branch at the CDC, said they have guidance for families and friends weighing whether to travel during the pandemic, according to the transcript.

“I think it’s a good thing that people have options to prevent infection and they can take time now before the Christmas holidays. We have several weeks to really think about the safest option for them and their family, which we think is to postpone travel. And then we’ve outlined all the other measures that they can take if they do have to travel,” Friedman said at the briefing.

Despite CDC guidance urging Americans to avoid traveling during Thanksgiving, a Transportation Security Administration spokesperson said over 1.17 million travelers on Sunday went through airport security checkpoints, the most travelers in a single day since mid-March.

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