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Americans who gathered for Thanksgiving should assume they have COVID-19, Dr. Birx says

Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said people should assume they have COVID-19 if they traveled

Cars travel the New Jersey Turnpike between Exits 3 and 4 as motorists took to the highway in the late afternoon, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in New Jersey.
Cars travel the New Jersey Turnpike between Exits 3 and 4 as motorists took to the highway in the late afternoon, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in New Jersey.
AP

Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said in an interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation” program that those who gathered on Thanksgiving should assume they have COVID-19 — until they get tested.

  • “We know people may have made mistakes over the Thanksgiving time period,” Birx said. “If you’re young and you gathered, you need to be tested about five to 10 days later. But you need to assume that you’re infected and not go near your grandparents and aunts and others without a mask.”

Birx told “Face the Nation” it’s up to Americans to protect themselves and their families from the coronavirus.

  • “To every American, this is the moment to protect yourself and your family,” she said. “So if your governor or your mayor isn’t doing the policies that we know are critical — masking, physical distancing, avoiding bars, avoiding crowded indoor areas — if those restrictions don’t exist in your state, you need to take it upon yourself to be restricted. You need to not go to these places. You need to protect your family now.”

Consider this:

It can take one week or more for the coronavirus to show up in testing, according to The New York Times. Many cases remain asymptomatic. People who return home and get tested one day or two days after may still be carrying the coronavirus.

What’s coming next?

Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week” that the United States may be seeing a surge on top of the current COVID-19 surge because of Thanksgiving and the coming holiday season.

  • Fauci said: “We may see a surge upon a surge. We don’t want to frighten people, but that’s just the reality. We said that these things would happen as we got into the cold weather and as we began traveling, and they’ve happened.”