By Jessica Vallejo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Medical health experts are saying to enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner, but to keep in mind COVID is still lingering.

“People should not be paranoid. We should be able to celebrate the holidays with some degree of safety. You can hug your family members, but preferably do it outdoors if they are not part of your bubble,” said Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease specialist.

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The CDC says the focus should be on four risk-reduction techniques:

  • Celebrating Outdoors
  • Getting Your Vaccines And Boosters
  • Testing To Prevent Transmissions
  • Being Extra Vigilant

“So my guidance is really keeping in mind those four criteria. Based on those four criteria and how you rate, you can be more risky or less risky,” said Dr. Geeta Nayyar. “So if everyone in your household is vaccinated, they do not have an immunocompromised individual in the family and all children are vaccinated, you can take a risk because it is unlikely someone will get infected or end up in the hospital.”

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Now, if you are having your Thanksgiving gathering indoor, medical experts urge you to leave windows open, discuss vaccination status with guests and use disposal utensils and plates.

Nayyar says she does not recommend indoor celebrations. She says we have to keep in mind that there may be another winter surge that could be partially fueled by indoor holiday gatherings.

“We are going to see cases go up December, January. What we are seeing in Europe. During the cold time, folks are gathering doors. They may or may not be vaccinated they are eating and drinking and the virus is being spread,” Nayyar said. “So this surge in Europe is not surprising and it will not be surprising if we see the same happen in South Florida. So you have to balance your risk and benefits. “

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Dr. Nayyar says folks that are vaccinated are six times less likely to be infected with COVID.

Jessica Vallejo