Many LSU students are heading home for Thanksgiving break despite CDC recommendations.
The CDC asked Americans to refrain from traveling in a tele-briefing Nov. 19.
“Amid this critical phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving holiday,” Dr. Henry Walke, Director of the Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections (DPEI) in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) said.
The CDC also recommends Americans refrain from celebrating the holidays with anyone outside of their “household.”
For college students who live outside of their hometown, this raised questions. CDC Commander Eric Sauber-Schatz clarified the definition of a household as those who have been living together for the past 14 days.
“We’ve received lots of questions from the American people about college students or people that were coming home for the holidays,” Schatz said. “People that have not been actively living with you for the past 14 days before you're celebrating, they're not considered a member of your household and therefore you need to take those extra precautions."
Digital advertising senior Vanessa Dinh said she plans to go home for the two-day break, then return to Baton Rouge.
“I’m going to my home for a few days, then coming back to focus on my finals,” Dinh said. “I’m getting tested and being extra cautious for the sake of my family.”
The CDC posted several guidelines for those who chose to travel during the holiday season.
Recommendations included social distancing, frequent hand washing and the use of masks in public settings.
Walke shared his own recommendation for traveling college students.
“As someone who has a college student coming back, another thing you can think about is trying to have your college student, two weeks before they come home, is to be as safe as possible and limit their interactions with others,” Walke said.
Kinesiology junior MacKenzie O’Keefe said she paid close attention to her social circle in the days leading up to her return to home.
“I obviously don’t want to get my family sick but I miss them and I want to see them,” O’Keefe said. “I’ve avoided large groups and paid close attention to who I’ve been around lately.”
Walke reminded the public that a COVID-19 vaccine is not yet readily available to the public despite the amount of hope it has given many Americans.
“There is reason for hope,” Walke said. “We are all excited about the news regarding a vaccine, but it's not here yet.”