Do I Really Have to Quarantine if I Visit Family for Thanksgiving?

The Four Percent


Q: I’m planning to visit family in Arlington, Va., over Thanksgiving. It’s a nonstop drive, and I’ll be staying with relatives who have been very careful. Do I really need to quarantine when I return to my Manhattan co-op? I can’t imagine it’s any riskier than having dinner with family in Brooklyn or New Jersey.

A: As Thanksgiving approaches and people prepare to travel around the country (albeit less than usual), Covid-19 cases are rising in a large majority of states, including Virginia and New York. The U.S. is now averaging more than 100,000 new cases a day, and we have entered what Dr. Deborah L. Birx called a “deadly phase of the pandemic.”

In New York, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has expressed concern about holiday travel, telling NY1 on Nov. 6, “If you love someone, say, ‘I love you so much that I’m not going to see you this Thanksgiving.’”

Your plan to reduce points of contact with other people along your holiday route will certainly reduce your risk of contracting the virus, or spreading it to others. But an indoor gathering with family is still considered a high-risk activity. So yes, you should take precautions and follow state rules to protect your neighbors upon your return.



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