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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The CDC issued new guidance on Thursday advising Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving, warning doing so may increase the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.

Why it matters: The U.S. has seen over 1 million new coronavirus case in just this past week — and indoor household gatherings nationwide could make the situation even worse.

  • "One of our concerns is people over the holiday season get together, and they may actually be bringing infection with them to that small gathering and not even know it," Henry Walke, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager, said on a call with reporters.
  • "We’re very concerned about people who are coming together sort of outside their household bubble."

The state of play: The agency said that Thanksgiving celebrations should only include current household members when possible.

  • It also redefined its definition of "household" to people currently living in one's home for the past 14 days — which could exclude college students and older relatives.
  • The guidance is not a mandate, but is "strongly recommended." Precautions should be taken if Americans do travel by enhancing ventilation, using hand sanitizer and even wearing masks in the home.

What they're saying: "Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year," the guidance says.

  • "[We're] further clarifying that the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with the people in your household. If people have not been actively living with you 14 days before you’re celebrating, they’re not considered a member of your household and you need to take those extra precautions," Erin Sauber-Schatz, lead on the Community Intervention and Critical Population Task Force at the CDC, said.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.

Florida police arrest data scientist who challenged state on COVID-19 dashboard

Florida's COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard displayed on a computer screen. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Rebekah Jones, a former Florida health department data scientist who says she was wrongly fired last year, has been charged with one count of offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Driving the news: Jones turned herself in Sunday night after a warrant was issued for her arrest. Authorities raided her home last month, causing outcry online after she tweeted a video of the incident.

Updated Jan 19, 2021 - Sports

2 tennis players test positive for coronavirus ahead of Australian Open

A tennis player (C) leaves hotel quarantine for a training session in Melbourne on Tuesday. The players to test positive for COVID-19 have not been publicly identified. Photo: William West/AFP via Getty Images

Two tennis players are among seven people involved in the Australian Open to test positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Melbourne, health authorities in the state of Victoria said Tuesday.

Why it matters: Some tennis stars including men's world No. 1 Novak Djokovic had sent a letter demanding Victorian authorities ease strict coronavirus quarantine rules for players ahead of the season-opening tennis major's start on Feb. 8.

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