- Health officials are asking people to avoid large gatherings this week, but people are lining up to get tested in droves ahead of the holiday.
- About 40% of people responding to a poll conducted by Ohio State University said they are planning to gather in person with 10 or more people this week. A third of respondents said they would not require people attending these gatherings to wear a mask.
- Photos from cities across the US show some of those people waiting to get tested for the coronavirus ahead of the upcoming holiday.
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As the Thanksgiving holiday nears, people all over the country are waiting in lengthy lines to get tested for the coronavirus.
Normally, millions of Americans travel and gather with their extended family members and friends. But this year, health officials are urging citizens to do the opposite and avoid large gatherings.
Coronavirus cases have been surging in recent weeks across the US, and demand for tests has spiked as many Americans still plan to gather for the holiday.
In an effort to limit movement and curb the spread of the virus, multiple states have enacted restrictions discouraging people from traveling out of state. But health officials fear those restrictions may not be enough. They're asking the public to downsize holiday plans. Among those sounding the alarms is the nation's top infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci.
"If you have people like elderly, or individuals who are compromised because of underlying conditions, you want to take a couple of steps back and say, is it worth it for this year to bring those people together when you don't know what the status of everybody in that pod that you've created is?" he said last month in conversation with the peer-reviewed JAMA.
Fauci emphasized that among current case counts, "many of the infections are in small family and friend gatherings, such as dinner parties and small social gatherings."
His concerns are backed up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has urged Americans to make alternative Thanksgiving plans like hosting a virtual gathering or delaying travels.
However, about 40% of people responding to a poll conducted by Ohio State University said they are planning to gather in person with 10 or more people this week. A third of respondents said they would not require people attending these gatherings to wear a mask.
These photos show some of those people waiting to get tested for the coronavirus in cities across the US ahead of the upcoming holiday.
New Yorkers waited in lines stretching around city blocks, like this one outside of a CityMD urgent care clinic.
People lined up at a walk-up COVID-19 testing site in Miami Beach, Florida, on November 17, 2020.
A Covid-19 walk-up test site in Los Angeles, California, attracted lines on November 17, 2020.
Those at the Judiciary Square Covid-19 testing site in Washington, DC, were met with workers in blue protective gear on November 18, 2020.
People waited in long lines in Boston, despite temperatures in the 30s.
Members of the Utah National Guard gave COVID-19 swab tests to people in their cars at the Utah County Health Department on November 20, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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