Houston-area travelers have mixed reaction to CDC Thanksgiving guidance

Friday, November 20, 2020
Houston travelers react to CDC Thanksgiving warning
As top health experts plan to practice what they preach, ABC13's TJ Parker found a mix of reaction to the CDC advisory to skip large Thanksgiving gatherings this year.

Baytown, Texas (KTRK) -- While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new Thanksgiving recommendation is for Americans to avoid travel next week, it may have come too late as families hit the road early.

Along Interstate 10, the famed Buc-ee's travel stop was already busy with travelers, some of whom are headed out to celebrate with families.

"I'm not too concerned," one traveler said. "I just wear my mask and stay as safe as possible."

The agency recommends that Americans celebrate the holiday at home with the people they live with, as gathering with family and friends from outside of the household can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.

These new guidelines come one day after the United States marked the grim milestone of a quarter-million COVID-19 deaths. The CDC now estimates between 276,000 and 298,000 deaths by Dec. 12.

RELATED: These Harris County communities have been hit hardest by COVID-19

"I'm trying to be as safe as possible," another traveler told ABC13's TJ Parker, who asked about plans for the week and who they'll spend the holidays with. "A few of my friends, five or six. We've practiced social distancing from the get-go."

Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC's COVID-19 incident manager, said there's a risk of gathering with loved ones that may live in close proximity.

"These times are tough. It's been a long ... almost 11 months now, and people are tired. And we understand that, and people want to see their relatives and their friends. And the way they've always done it. But this year, particularly, we're asking people to be as safe as possible, and limit their travel," Walke said.

Dr. Fauci warns Thanksgiving gatherings pose high risk for COVID-19

As positive cases in both Harris County and Houston spike to June levels, hospitalizations are only slowly creeping up.

If people do travel or gather with other households, the CDC urges them to continue to follow the guidance to wash hands frequently, wear masks when around people outside your household, and try to have the Thanksgiving meal outside or with windows open.

SEE MORE: CDC updates Thanksgiving guidance, recommends that Americans do not travel

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