PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Rhode Island, Gov. Gina Raimondo made adjustments to social gatherings.
In hopes of stemming the spread of the virus, Raimondo instructed people to limit their gatherings to the members of their household, which includes Thanksgiving.
The governor also urged Rhode Islanders to stay home for the holiday. Anyone who’s intent on having some turkey with distant relatives or friends is required to get tested before and after leaving the state.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is with the people you live with, or virtually with out-of-state relatives and friends.
For those planning to travel, the CDC offered the following safety recommendations:
- Check travel restrictions before you go.
- Get your flu shot before you travel.
- Always wear a mask in public settings, when using public transportation, and when around people who you don’t live with.
- Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who does not live with you.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
- Know when to delay your travel.
AAA predicts a 10% drop in holiday travel this year, saying the majority of people who do travel will drive, with 95% of travelers hitting the road.
If that’s your plan, AAA gave these tips:
- Minimize stops
- Pack food, drinks, and extra snacks
- Have a roadside emergency kit
- Be familiar with restrictions
- Follow quarantine and testing requirements
AAA expects air travel will be down by nearly 50% from previous years.
John Goodman, a spokesperson for the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, said the agency also expects historic lows in terms of travel this year, and also assured travelers that safety is a top priority for airports and airlines.
Still, AAA advised wiping down the area where you’ll be sitting as a precaution.
The U.S. Department of Transportation and other federal agencies have launched a website to offer guidance on how to fly safely during the pandemic.
Additional safety information can be found on T.F. Green Airport’s website.
Raimondo said the Rhode Island National Guard will be stationed at T.F. Green Airport to remind travelers of the CDC’s guidelines for social gatherings.
If you plan to host a Thanksgiving gathering, the CDC says to:
- Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community.
- Limit the number of guests.
- Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
- If celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible. You can use a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out of the window. This will pull fresh air in through the other open windows.
- Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.
- Have guests bring their own food and drink.
- If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.
The CDC also provided tips for those looking to attend a gathering:
- Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.
- Wear a mask and safely store your mask while eating and drinking.
- Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen.
- Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils.
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