Staying safe this Thanksgiving: Get a COVID booster, consider at-home tests

Coronavirus

NEW YORK — About 70% of Americans have received at least one shot against COVID-10. Roughly 30% are completely unvaccinated. That is leading to concerns about COVID spreading during the Thanksgiving holiday. Public health experts are concerned about another post-holiday surge.

After Thanksgiving took a backseat to COVID last year, many American families are back to large gatherings this year. Dr. Anthony Fauci is the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist and the White House’s Chief Medical Advisor. Fauci says you can celebrate safely. 

“If you’re vaccinated — and hopefully you’ll be boosted too, and your family is too — you can have a typical Thanksgiving,” said Fauci.

Tens of millions are expected to travel over the next few days. Dr. Randy DiLorenzo is Syosset Hospital’s medical director. 

“If you have the option of taking your own car that’s the safest, as opposed to public transportation,” said DiLorenzo. “If you’re going to be on planes the same precaution are in place, you’re going to be wearing a mask with your nose covered and you want to keep your hands clean and clean surfaces with sanitizing wipes.”

The Centers for Disease Control forecasts cases, hospitalizations and deaths will likely rise in the coming weeks. There are very real concerns about a post-holiday surge. 

CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has said the unvaccinated are driving the surge.  

DiLorenzo says check the infection rate in the area you’re traveling to and at the end of the day, err on the side of caution.

“For people that are immunocompromised or on chemo or (have) certain types of illnesses that would predispose them to catching COVID, certainly would want to be masked indoors,” said DiLorenzo.

At-home COVID test kits have been in high demand. With more Americans getting together, many are looking for that extra peace of mind before visitors sit down at the dinner table. People are also drawn to the ease and convenience of the kits, as well as their improved technology. 

“The at-home test kits have improved dramatically most people say they’re about 85% or more accurate,” said DiLorenzo.  “You take the swab in the nose and then you read the reaction either positive or negative.”

At-home test kits have a wide range in price. Some are as low as $25, others over a $100. They are available online or in pharmacies.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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