For the second year in a row, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending you skip having everyone gathered around the table for Thanksgiving dinner.

Whether you and your guests are vaccinated or not, the CDC warns any indoor gatherings can increase your risk of getting COVID-19, and advises that people consider a virtual gathering, rather than any in-person celebration.

The CDC also urges you not to travel for the holidays, unless you are vaccinated and it is absolutely necessary.

Attending gatherings to celebrate events and holidays increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. The safest way to celebrate is virtually, with people who live with you, or outside and at least 6 feet apart from others. - CDC.gov

If you are going to celebrate in person, consider having your Thanksgiving outside. If you have to have it inside, open a window and run a fan to circulate fresh air. The CDC says anyone above the age of two should wear a mask.

CDC.gov

Unlike last year, there are no limits on gatherings in New Jersey. Indoor gatherings were capped at 10 people a year ago. Gov. Phil Murphy did his best to discourage a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in 2020, going so far as to recommend no loud talking or singing and no hugs and handshakes.

A year ago, there was also no vaccine available. Now, New Jersey has among the highest vaccination rates in the nation. More than 5.8 million people who live, work and go to school in New Jersey are considered fully vaccinated.

However, state health officials say the highly contagious delta variant continues to circulate in the Garden State and even the vaccinated could be susceptible to it.

The decision whether or not to have traditional holiday gatherings has been a tricky one for many families. The issues surrounding vaccination, masking and even the legitimacy of the public health threat have caused strife and deep divisions.

Etiquette experts have advised talking with family about what you will expect from guests invited to your home for holiday celebrations.

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