Students prepare for Thanksgiving in the midst of COVID-19

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Safety is top of mind for many students gathering with family this Thanksgiving. Whether it's limiting what they do while home or taking extra steps before going home... this holiday will require some additional planning.

The countdown is on to that turkey dinner but students know this year won't be like years past. Covid is trimming down the number of guests who will be sitting around the table.

"We are just not going to invite people outside of the family. Usually, we would invite friends, neighbors, extra people but now we are just going to keep it strictly family," said Samantha Jean

"Just immediate family. We don't plan on inviting second cousins, the whole big thing that we normally do. We are just going to keep it tight-knit," said Shane Brown.

The CDC is recommending smaller gatherings with only the people who live in your household. Most students we talked to say their families will be heeding the warning. Some students are even heading to Disney.

"We have done it recently before and we've been very safe with making sure everyone is wearing a mask and washing our hands constantly. At the parks themselves, they are extremely strict, " said Sarah Roach.

"It is a time to be with each other but also to adhere to the guidelines that are put forth through our health department and the CDC," said David Afesumeh.

Temple University posted guidelines on its website. It is offering students free testing before they head home and says any students returning to campus after fall break should quarantine for 14 days. Temple senior Courtney Murphy is taking advantage of the free test.

"If people don't know they have it, they spread it. That is how it works. So, I would rather be sure because I would feel guilty if I did have it and I spread it," said Courtney Murphy.

For many, it's not so much their family members they are worried about when it comes to following health guidelines, but it's their friends they are concerned about.

"All my friends from high school and stuff they are going to want to meet up but on social media, I have been seeing that they have not been social distancing and they have been traveling and stuff so I am kind of iffy about that," said Samantha Jean.

The CDC says if you have been diagnosed with COVID, exposed to the virus, or if you are waiting on test results, you should not attend holiday gatherings.
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