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

If you have concerns, experts say there are some important questions to ask to help assess risk: Will those around you be vaccinated? Have they been tested? Do you have to open windows when you are indoors?

Of those planning this Thanksgiving gathering, 30% said the guests would include unvaccinated people and another 17% said they didn’t know if guests would be vaccinated—meaning nearly half of the survey respondents, 47%, could be around Non-restaurant people for vacation.

Dr. Rochelle Wallinsky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Barventon, said during a White House briefing Monday that unvaccinated people are six times more likely to contract Covid-19 than those who have been vaccinated.

“Infection among the unvaccinated continues to cause this epidemic, hospitalization, and deaths — tragically, at a time when we have vaccines that can provide incredible protection,” Walinsky said. “As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what we were like a year ago. I can remember waiting in great anticipation for the life-saving vaccines we currently have on hand.”

“We encourage people who congregate to do so safely after they are fully vaccinated, as we have been saying for months,” she added.

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

First question: Have you been vaccinated?

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

Since his family has been fully vaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Health, said he’ll be spending the holidays with his family — and it’s okay to ditch the masks when everyone is vaccinated.

Fauci says fully vaccinated family members can celebrate the holidays without masks
“That’s what I’m going to do with my family,” Fauci told CNN’s Dana Bash about the State of the Union on Sunday. But he added that when you are traveling or unaware of the vaccination status of people around you, you should wear a mask.

“This is the safety net – the vaccination,” Fauci said.

“Get vaccinated and you can enjoy the holidays very easily, and if you’re not, please be careful,” Fauci added. “Get tested if you need to get tested when you get together, but it’s not a substitute for getting vaccinated. Get vaccinated and you can continue to enjoy interacting with your family and others.”

A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving a second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the coronavirus, or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

CNN’s analysis of CDC data shows that nearly 60% of the US population has been fully vaccinated, but about 82 million people–more than a third of those who qualify–have not yet received their first dose.

Question 2: Were you tested?

Some families may try to decide whether to require guests who arrive on Thanksgiving to get tested, especially if the guest has not been vaccinated.

“I think that’s a reasonable idea for that extra level of protection. It’s not a consistent requirement, but I think if you want to go that extra step, especially when you’re in an area with a lot of infection and people if you’re traveling, it’s not unreasonable to Launching telling people to get a test — one of those quick tests — 24 hours or so before they go indoors with people,” Fauci said Monday. During an appearance on CBS this morning.

“You can do an antigen test,” he added. “It’s not the most sensitive test, but it can tell you when you have enough virus in the nasopharynx to pass.”

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta describes home Covid-19 testing as “one of the best tools we have” right now for staying safe during the pandemic.

“I don’t think we talk about them enough. I don’t think we think about them enough,” Gupta said on the last episode of the “Chasing Life” podcast.

“Keep in mind, let’s say you’ve had the vaccine, but you still want to make sure you don’t carry the virus, which can happen. What you can do is you can do a quick antigen test that can tell you fairly accurately the answer to the question that You really ask: Are you contagious? That’s what you really want to know,” Gupta said, adding that such a test can be purchased over the counter for about $20.

Question 3: Should a window be opened?

Gupta said in his podcast that air ventilation is important to think about during large gatherings.

“We know this virus is spread through the air. It’s airborne. So the more you can move the air, the better,” Gupta said.

“Actually, the way to think about it is to think of the virus kind of like smoke. If there’s smoke outdoors, you’re less likely to inhale it, right? But indoors, if you have the same smoke it will increase your chances of inhaling those particles.” “Even breaking the window a little bit can help.”

Question 4: Is there anyone in grave danger who needs me to convince?

Even when there are some mitigation measures — knowing who’s vaccinated and who isn’t, testing guests and improving air ventilation — it can also be helpful to know who at the Thanksgiving table is at risk of severe Covid-19 infection in order to help protect them.

Some guests at increased risk of severe Covid-19 infection, due to their advanced age or underlying health condition, may prefer to keep their masks and wear masks over others.

“If everyone is generally healthy and vaccinated and empowered, maybe it’s a good idea for everyone to take off their masks and eat a very normal Thanksgiving meal,” CNN medical analyst Dr. Lena Wen told John King on Tuesday.

“On the other hand, if there are young children who are not immunized or people with very weak immunity, you may want to have an extra level of protection — to be outdoors, open all the windows indoors or get a quick test a day For everyone,” Wayne, an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. “This helps ensure everyone stays healthy from Covid and safe from Covid this Thanksgiving.”

In general, “No one wants to spread Covid to their loved ones,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and current president and CEO of the global nonprofit Resolve to Save Lives, He wrote in a post on Twitter Monday.

“It is critical that we make sure everyone at the Thanksgiving table is vaccinated and consider other layers of protection, including disguising masks when not eating, opening windows, and testing those who may have been exposed,” Frieden wrote on Twitter. at risk.”

Gupta said in his podcast that these types of conversations can be difficult for some — but being open with loved ones about your concerns is key.

“I think the key is to remember to have an open conversation with those who would like to spend time with them during the holidays. Have that conversation now,” Gupta said. “Let them know your concerns, and what it might take to make you and your family feel safer and basically move from there.”

CNN’s Deidre MacPhillips contributed to this report.

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