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CDC Director warns that ‘small household collections’ increase the spread of COVID-19

Small gatherings increase the spread of COVID-19 across the United States, warned Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a call Tuesday.

Redfield’s remarks were made, according to CNN, as 44 states see an increase in cases.

“In the public square, we see a higher degree of vigilance and mitigation steps in many jurisdictions,” Redfield told governors during the call.

“But what we see as the growing threat right now is actually the acquisition of infection through small household collections,” Redfield said. “Especially when Thanksgiving comes up, we think it’s really important to emphasize the vigilance of these continued mitigation steps in the household.”


The state of California has also entered the issue of small gatherings, and earlier this week it published guidelines for small private outdoor gatherings with friends.

The new guidelines state that participants must not be from more than three separate households and that gatherings must not last more than two hours.

Collections “must be and must be done outside,” said California’s health and human services secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly. People are also expected to take safety precautions, including wearing masks, practicing physical distance and washing hands.

In the past, the state discouraged any gathering outside a single household, but now it says it is permissible to gather if these conditions are met.

Ghaly said the guidelines are intended to recognize that many close friends and relatives have been separated for a long time and increasingly want to be together, especially with the upcoming holidays.

The purpose of the guidelines is not to encourage gatherings, but to inspire people to socialize safely when they do.

“Guidance here does not mean going,” he said. “That does not mean we support or suggest that small gatherings happen. We just want to provide important ways to reduce your risk so that you protect yourself, your families and your communities.”

“We still believe and really support the message that this is the best way we can reduce transmission by spending time with your household,” he said.

While cases are exploding across the country and in many European countries. California is generally doing well this month with a positivity rate of less than 3% and the 14-day rolling average of new cases at 3,193, three times less than where the average was at its peak in July.

“We do not see the wave that other parts of the country are experiencing and other parts of the globe,” Ghaly said. “We do not want to see the tip that can rightly happen.”

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