CDC recommends college students celebrate Thanksgiving remotely

SPOKANE, Wash.–The CDC is asking you to only celebrate Thanksgiving with the people you live with, and that does not include one of your kids who may be away at college.

“Traditionally, a lot of people, not everybody, but a lot of people tend to gather in large groups in small places and be very close to each other,” Spokane’s Interim Health Officer Dr. Frank Velazquez said. “We’re really, really strongly advising against that.”

Now, millions of families across the nation face a decision; let their student come home for Thanksgiving break or stay at school, where it may be safest for the entire family.

Sacrificing a large gathering with extended friends and family is one thing.

But now, the CDC is recommending college students to not travel home to their families for the break.

The agency said it’s the best way to avoid bringing the virus home to a loved one.

Gabe Orint is a student at Gonzaga University, and he plans to head home to Seattle this weekend for Thanksgiving and the rest of the semester as the school is still mostly learning remotely.

“If I go home for thanksgiving, I’m just gonna be at home and I think it’s just a good time to get a break from the things at school,” Orint said. “I’m pretty much in my room all the time.”

Orint doesn’t have anyone who is more at-risk of COVID-19 at home.

He said his dad trusts him to be safe before heading back.

His family, like many others, made the decision to scale back Thanksgiving celebrations this year.

“We usually get together in a big group with my extended family, but this year it’s just gonna be me, my dad and my brother,” Orint said.

Orint is already following the guidance for college students who are going home.

That means getting tested before doing so, which Gonzaga and many other colleges have been offering students.

It’s recommended to limit activities and even quarantine before heading home.

When students get there, it’s also recommended they wear a mask and distance themselves around the house.

READ: ‘It’s just too dangerous’: Gov. Inslee pleads with Washingtonians to avoid large gatherings this Thanksgiving 

READ: Gov. Inslee announces new statewide restrictions on dining, gatherings as COVID-19 cases surge