A new study shared exclusively with Axios has revealed that approximately one-third of Americans say they're likely to ignore health officials' warnings about the risks of getting together for Thanksgiving.
The coronavirus pandemic is creating an overflow at hospitals around the nation -- a real threat of being turned away for needed care is possible if the course of the virus is not altered within the next few weeks.
"Solid majorities said they're likely to follow CDC guidelines and avoid traveling or gathering with people who don't live in the same home," Axios reported Wednesday. "But the 25-30 percent who don't plan to follow those guidelines represent millions of people. And when millions of people are traveling or gathering indoors, that represents a real risk of new or worsening outbreaks — especially right now, when infections are at an all-time high."
"Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year," the guidance says.
"[We're] further clarifying that the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with the people in your household. If people have not been actively living with you 14 days before you’re celebrating, they’re not considered a member of your household and you need to take those extra precautions," Erin Sauber-Schatz, lead on the Community Intervention and Critical Population Task Force at the CDC, said.
The study also revealed that Democrats were more inclined to adhere to the CDC's guidelines and stay home versus Republicans. Approximately 40 percent of Republicans said they're unlikely to heed the CDC's warnings against gathering with people outside their immediate household, compared to 23 percent of Democrats.
"One of our concerns is people over the holiday season get together, and they may actually be bringing infection with them to that small gathering and not even know it," Henry Walke, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager, said on a call with reporters. "We’re very concerned about people who are coming together sort of outside their household bubble."
The study noted that young people are less likely to follow the public health guidelines than their older counterparts.