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Analysis

Stay Home! AHA, AMA, ANA, CDC Urge Americans to Scale Back Thanksgiving Gatherings

By John Commins  
   November 19, 2020

As coronavirus pandemic numbers reach new highs, public health officials and provider association ask the public to "celebrate responsibly."

With the coronavirus surging, the nation's leading healthcare associations on Thursday urged people to celebrate Thanksgiving "in a scaled-back fashion that limits the virus's spread, to help reduce the risk of infecting friends, family and others you love."

"In the strongest possible terms, we urge you to celebrate responsibly," the American Hospital Association, the American Nurses Association, and the American Medical Association wrote jointly in "an open letter to the American people."

"We are all weary and empathize with the desire to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, but given the serious risks, we underscore how important it is to wear masks, maintain physical distancing and wash your hands," the letter said.

The Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center reported on Thursday that COVID-19 has claimed 251,000 lives across the United States, and that 11.5 million people have been infected by the coronavirus.

The provider associations' plea came shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Protection issued a similar plea and suggested that "the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with."

"Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year," the CDC said.

The associations and the CDC note that COVID-19 cases spiked after Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, and are hitting new highs two weeks after Halloween.

"The record-shattering surge underway is resulting in uncontrolled community spread and infection that has already overburdened health systems in some areas and will ultimately consume capacity of our health care system and may reduce the availability of care in many places in our country," the provider associations said.

"Following these science-based, commonsense measures is the best way to prevent our health care systems and dedicated health care professionals from being overwhelmed by critically ill patients," they wrote. "We must protect the doctors, nurses and other caregivers who have tirelessly battled this virus for months. You can do your part to ensure they can continue to care for you and your loved ones."  

“In the strongest possible terms, we urge you to celebrate responsibly.”

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

COVID-19 has claimed 251,000 lives across the United States, and 11.5 million people have been infected by the coronavirus.

The provider associations' plea came shortly after the CDC issued a similar plea and suggested that "the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with."

The stakeholders note that COVID-19 cases spiked after Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, and are hitting new highs two weeks after Halloween.


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