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Dr. Fauci Issues Warning About Thanksgiving

“If you're in the middle of a red hot zone—no, you don't want to be congregating.” 
grandmother and granddaughter embracing on kitchen and looking at freshly prepared turkey for thanksgiving dinner

With the holiday season fast approaching—yes, it's somehow already October—Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist, discussed how to determine if you should visit your family over Thanksgiving, in an interview with ABC News' Start Here podcast. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

How to Travel Safely This Season

"Are you going to be traveling for Thanksgiving?" asked host Brad Mielke. "As we look forward to the colder months, should people have big family dinners and this big travel…"

"You know, it's, it's a mixed bag," Fauci answered. "If you look at the map of the country, I mean, I do this with my international friends and colleagues and associates—it's a big country with an incredible amount of diversity in everything from climate to customs, to geography, to the level of the infection."

"So if you're in a situation where you are in the zone, where the infections are so low, you want to get together with your family—obviously you've got to be careful. You want to wear a mask. If you're indoors, if you don't know the status of a person, if you can get tested: fine. If you're in the middle of a red hot zone—no, you don't want to be congregating." 

There is no one size fits all answer. "I can't tell the country what they should be doing for Thanksgiving," he says. "It depends upon where you are. If you're in the middle of a red hot area, you really need to be careful."

Where will Fauci be? "I'm going to be right in my home with my wife."

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You Have to Look for the Infection Rate

As for getting the green light or red light, look at the infection rate where you are and where you're going. "You want to be, everybody wants to be around 1% or less, 2% okay. 3%," answered Fauci about infection rates. "When you get up to 5 to 10, you really got a problem. Okay. Really got to tighten up."

As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.