Thanksgiving 2020: How to celebrate safely and smoothly

With Thanksgiving and the holiday season rapidly approaching, many public health experts have united around a single message: Expect festivities to look very different this year.

Cases of the novel coronavirus are surging again nationwide, coinciding with cooler weather that has made outdoor gatherings less feasible in many parts of the country, and experts say that adding out-of-state travel and multigenerational holiday celebrations to the mix could send infection rates skyrocketing if the proper safeguards aren’t taken.

“It is unfortunate, because that’s such a sacred part of American tradition, the family gathering around Thanksgiving, but that is a risk,” Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, told “CBS Evening News” in October. Fauci, who is 79, noted that his three children will not be traveling home for the holiday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended a similarly cautious approach. In recently updated guidance, the agency emphasized that the “safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people in your household” — meaning relatives from out of state, children away at college and really anyone who doesn’t live with you probably shouldn’t be joining you at the table. But for those who want to connect with their loved ones this holiday season, we have compiled advice from experts on how to celebrate without increasing your risk of contracting or spreading a potentially deadly virus.