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With COVID Cases Surging, Do We Gather Virtually Or In Person This Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving day spread.

The CDC advises against meeting with family and friends outside of your household. But many Americans are still forging ahead, cautiously. Here's how you can minimize the risks if you meet in person or virtually.

On this week's Florida Matters, we look at the holidays as COVID-19 cases surge.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people not to travel. So some people are celebrating in person, with others virtually - or even a combination of both.

How are you connecting with loved ones while staying safe this Thanksgiving week?

We hear from Marissa Levine, a public health expert at the University of South Florida, and Krayl Funch, a Tampa home and event stylist, about the right way to safely celebrate.

Levine pointed out that meeting in-person in any way is inherently unsafe.

“The safest way to celebrate this year is virtually, or at least stay within your own household unit," Levine said. "And if you can't do that, then educate yourself about what the science tells us. There are ways to minimize our risk. But there's no risk-free way to get together.”

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The risks are even higher when family and friends are coming together from across the country. But there are ways to make gatherings less risky.

Funch said there will be three households at her family's gathering. They plan to have separate tables for each household, among other precautions.

"Say your sister's coming over. Try to make a separate station for them to eat so that you're not sharing utensils. Have everybody have their own wine or water glass,” she said.

Funch also discusses how to now handle a once-typical gesture at family get-togethers: the hug.

To hear the entire conversation, click on the "Listen" icon above.

Dinorah Prevost is the producer of Florida Matters, WUSF's weekly public affairs show.
Bradley George comes to WUSF from Atlanta, where he was a reporter, host, and editor at Georgia Public Broadcasting. While in Atlanta, he reported for NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and The Takeaway. His work has been recognized by PRNDI, the Georgia Associated Press, and the Atlanta Press Club. Prior to his time in Georgia, Bradley worked at public radio stations in Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.