CDC asks people to consider virtual holiday gatherings as safest way to celebrate

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A beautiful Oct. 4 means enjoying the sunshine outside with family.

We may still be months away from fall holidays in which family and friends celebrate together, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing a recommendation stating the safest way to celebrate together this year is to do so virtually.

"Certainly, we are at a place where we have a lot of COVID occurring in Minnesota right now, the case numbers remain high, so we are at a place where we should think about how can we meet with our loved ones and celebrate things in the safest manner possible," Kris Ehresmann, the director of infectious diseases with the Minnesota Department of Health, said.

But what about the vaccine, and does the guidance change for the vaccinated?

"To the question of, ‘We are vaccinated, why can’t we get together, isn’t that why we got vaccinated?’ Yes, in fact, it was why you got vaccinated, but I think you want to think about do you want to be meeting with unvaccinated people?" Ehresmann added.

If an in-person gathering must happen, the CDC recommends it be moved outdoors. If that can’t happen, which wouldn’t be shocking in November in Minnesota, the CDC advises using a window fan to circulate the air indoors.

Families that talked with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS said going virtual concerns them.

"I would hate that actually, I think it is so important to be in person and holidays, after last year being so separated, for the mental health of our children, adults, elderly, I think it is very important to be in person," said Rebecca Halverson, of north Minneapolis.

"My family and I are all vaccinated and it’s just time to move on, if you are being protected already, the next step is to get back to our families," added Elma Bakovic, of Ramsey.