Have you figured out your COVID-safe holiday plans?

There’s an unmistakable chill in the air and, perhaps for the first time all year, it’s clear what season it is. But this holiday season brings with it a reminder of how the coronavirus pandemic has upended Americans’ lives. Gone are the crowds of shoppers in the mall and office parties, but what will take its place?

In a survey of more than 900 people on the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform by Stannah, 37 percent said they will not be gathering with their family for the holidays due to COVID-19 and 44 percent have family members planning not to as well. But 32 percent said family members were pressuring them to travel or attend gatherings for the holidays — most commonly their parents, or conversely, their kids — while another 23 percent said that they had encouraged family to travel to them for the holidays.


BREAKING NEWS ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC IN AMERICA

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While friends were considered the worst violators of social distancing guidelines, 62 percent said they would have family over. But more people were comfortable maintaining boundaries with strangers than family, which can make for uncomfortable situations over the holidays. And when your family spans multiple generations, it’s easy to put older family members at risk. 

COVID-19 is a contagious and potentially fatal illness, especially for those with preexisting conditions and those older than 60. Staying home is still the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Our country is in a historic fight against the Coronavirus. Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


If you’re going to host or attend a small gathering, however, here are the CDC’s recommendations

– Be prepared to cancel if you’re sick, showing symptoms or if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19

– Limit the number of attendees as much as you can. Most people in the survey said 12 is the maximum acceptable number of people who don’t live together to attend a gathering. A pandemic is the perfect excuse not to invite that family member you hate hosting, without any hurt feelings. Use travel distance as a way to pare down the guest list, sticking with those who are in the area. And keep a list of contact information for everyone attending in case someone tests positive for COVID-19 afterwards

– Ask your guests to quarantine before and after the gathering — and to get tested if possible. And if their Instagram story tells you any different, let them know they’re not coming.

The Latest: S. Korea Reports 64 Cases Amid Holiday Concerns | World News

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 64 new cases of the coronavirus, the fourth straight day its increase came below 100, possibly reflecting the fewer number of tests conducted during one of the biggest holidays of the year.

The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Sunday brought the national caseload to 24,091, including 421 deaths.

Thirty-eight of the new cases were reported from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, which has been at the center of a viral resurgence since August. Health workers have struggled to track transmissions tied to churches, hospitals, schools and offices.

Seventeen of the new cases were linked to international arrivals, mostly from other Asian countries such as the Philippines, India, and Bangladesh.

There are concerns that infections could rise in coming weeks because of increased travel during the five-day Chuseok harvest holiday that continues through Sunday.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Trump said to be improving but next 48 hours ‘critical’

— Trump’s diagnosis shows US vulnerability to the coronavirus

— Pence ordered borders closed after CDC experts refused

— South Africa and India have asked the World Trade Organization to waive some provisions in the international agreements that regulate intellectual property rights to speed up efforts to prevent, treat and contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

— Madrid has started its first day under a partial lockdown with police controlling travel in and out of the Spanish capital. The Madrid region has become Europe’s most critical hot spot in the second wave of the coronavirus.

— Pope Francis has traveled to the tomb of his nature-loving namesake to sign an encyclical laying out his vision of a post-COVID world built on solidarity, fraternity and care for the environment.

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico officials have reported 298 additional known COVID-19 cases and three more deaths, increasing the statewide totals to 30,296 cases with 890 deaths.

The additional cases reported Saturday included 75 in Bernalillo County, 67 in Dona Ana County, 32 in Chaves County, 22 in Lea County and 20 in Curry County.

The three deaths occurred one each in Bernalillo, Curry and Dona Ana counties and involving people in their 70s or 80s with underlying conditions.

PHOENIX — Numerous inmates say Arizona’s prison system has failed to provide necessary testing, supplies and treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Arizona Republic reports that dozens of letters from inmates in recent months said the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry wasn’t protecting staff and inmates during the outbreak.

The Republic reports inmates’ letters describing fears and frustrations, asking for help while others provided graphic details in personal narratives of surviving the virus.

A department spokesperson denied many allegations by inmates, including that sick inmates weren’t tested. Department spokesperson Judy Keane also cited health and safety protocols announced during the pandemic.

LONDON — Britain has recorded 12,872 new coronavirus infections,