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Health guidelines recommend small holiday gatherings, here's how to still make the most of Thanksgiving

Although the Centers for Disease Control is recommending no travel for Thanksgiving, you can still find creative ways to connect with family.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — There’s dressing, a turkey and perhaps pumpkin pie – but will all of your cousins be at your dinner table this Thanksgiving?  

If you’re following health guidelines, the answer’s no, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find other ways to enjoy the season with loved ones.   

“There’s several problems with all the travel right now,” said infectious disease expert Dr. Steve Threlkeld. “Number one is that we’re bringing different areas of the country and just shaking them up. Mixing folks from different regions.”  

Threlkeld said traveling and having family meals with those outside your immediate household could be disastrous for COVID-19 cases.” 

“It is a matter of the people who live with you and have lived with you for the past 14 days,” he said.  “That’s what your immediate family is for this purpose.”  

The CDC now recommends no travel for the Thanksgiving holidays. 

If you’re having an indoor dinner, the CDC recommends keeping the windows open, spreading out, and wearing masks.  

“If you have a child at college it may be that they have to come home, college may be closed for the holiday,” Threlkeld said. “But they need to be considered and outside in terms of biology.”  

Families can still plan to have a virtual Thanksgiving by using Zoom or FaceTime to include relatives from other households.   

For Thanksgiving, Zoom will lift its 40-minute time limit for free meetings.   

Also, you can plan the same menu for a shared dinner experience.   

“Let’s not give this virus a foothold into the holiday season and make one last big push to mortality. We need to keep ourselves safe."

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