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Traveling for Thanksgiving? You should already be quarantining

Experts recommend quarantining for 14 days before traveling for the holidays.

Traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday? Your quarantine period starts now.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, infectious disease experts say if you do have travel plans, then you should quarantine 14 days before the trip.

In an interview with CNN, Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, said holiday travelers should quarantine for two weeks and then get tested.

"Fourteen days is the maximum incubation period for the virus that causes Covid-19. If you quarantine for less time than 14 days, you could be infected and not know it," Wen said.

Similarly, a group of scientists collaborating on the Dear Pandemic website say the magic day to start quarantining ahead of Thanksgiving is today, Nov. 13.

That means no grocery store trips, no working outside the home and no in-person school for two weeks, the Associated Press reported.

The CDC also recommends the following if you're traveling for Thanksgiving:

  • Check travel restrictions before you go
  • Get your flu shot before the trip
  • Always wear a mask in public settings and on public transit
  • Stay at least 6 feet from anyone not in your household
  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose and mouth
  • Bring extra masks and sanitizing supplies

If you're attending a Thanksgiving gathering:

  • Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups and utensils
  • Wear a mask
  • Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared
  • Use single-use options, packets and disposable containers

If you're hosting Thanksgiving:

  • Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community
  • Limit the number of guests
  • Talk to guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between uses
  • Open windows if celebrating indoors
  • Limit the number of people in food prep areas
  • Have guests bring their own food and drinks
  • Use single-serve options to serve food

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