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CDC director warns ‘small household gatherings’ increase in COVID-19 spread

Small gatherings are increasing the spread of COVID-19 across the United States, Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield warned in a call Tuesday.

Redfield’s statements were made, according to CNN, as 44 states saw an increase in cases.

“In the public square, we are seeing a higher level of vigilance and mitigation measures in many constituencies,” Redfield told governors on the call.

“But what we see as a growing threat today is actually getting infected through small household gatherings,” Redfield said. “Specifically for the upcoming Thanksgiving, we think it is very important to emphasize vigilance of ongoing mitigation measures in the household setting.”


The state of California is also key to the issue around small gatherings, and earlier this week it released guidelines for small private outdoor gatherings with friends.

The new rules state that attendees should not have more than three separate households and that the gathering should last no more than two hours.

Meetings are “must and must be done outside,” said California Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly | People are also expected to take safety precautions, including wearing masks, practicing physical distance and washing hands.

In the past, the state discouraged any gatherings outside of a single household, but now it is said that gatherings are allowed if these conditions are met.

Ghaly said the guidelines are intended to identify that many close friends and relatives have long been separated and prefer to be together, especially on holidays.

The purpose of the guidelines is not to encourage gatherings, but to inspire people to socialize safely when they do so.

“Guiding here does not mean going,” he said. “This does not mean that we endorse or suggest small gatherings happen. We just want to provide important ways to reduce your risk, so that you can protect yourself, your families and your communities.”

“We believe and we still support messaging that spending time with your household alone is the way we reduce the best delivery,” he said.

As cases spread across the country and in many European countries. California was generally performing well this month with a positive rate holding below 3% and a 14-day average lateral of new cases at 3,193, three times lower than the average is at the peak of July.

“We are not seeing the influx of other parts of the country being experienced and other parts of the world,” Ghaly said. “We don’t want to see the spike that could happen correctly.”

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