The best official advice was: Don’t travel — and celebrate Thanksgiving only with your own household. But some people certainly did travel and gather in larger groups for the turkey, the fixings, and the holiday cheer.
Now, some may also be learning they were exposed to the coronavirus during the get-togethers.
Here’s what the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you do if you were exposed.
— Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
— Stay away from others, especially those at increased risk of the virus.
— Keep an eye out for fever (100.4°F or higher), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
— Consider getting tested. But even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy, the CDC warns, you should still quarantine yourself for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. This is because symptoms may appear later.
— Don’t travel until 14 days after you were exposed.
The agency offered further recommendations for people who can’t completely quarantine themselves, including:
— Stay 6 feet away from people.
— Wear a mask around others, including in the house.
— Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says you should get tested if you have had close contact with an infected person or have any coronavirus symptoms, even mild ones.
The test will usually be covered by insurance with no cost, according to DPH. More information on testing in Massachusetts, including the symptoms, the definition of close contact, and testing locations, can be found at www.mass.gov/GetTested.
The state has also been encouraging people in a number of high-risk communities to get free testing even if they don’t have symptoms, as part of the Stop the Spread program.
Help us stop the spread of COVID-19 by getting tested. Residents of many communities with high rates of COVID-19 can get tested at no cost to you - even with no symptoms. All results are confidential. See the list of communities: https://t.co/4GSDkB5H5B #covid19MA pic.twitter.com/W85ibvsCud— Mass. Public Health (@MassDPH) November 30, 2020
If you develop symptoms or if you test positive after a holiday gathering, the CDC said, “immediately notify the host and others who attended. They may need to inform other attendees about their possible exposure to the virus.”
Then you should contact your doctor and follow the CDC-recommended steps for what to do if you become sick, and adhere to public health recommendations for community-related exposure, the agency said. And be prepared to help contact tracers looking to hunt down where the virus may have spread.
Martin Finucane can be reached at email@example.com.