FORT MYERS, Fla. — If you can already smell the turkey cooking and if you can taste the pumpkin pie, that's because we are only nine days away from Thanksgiving!
One question that has been on the minds of college students and families is, 'Is it safe to come home for the holiday this year?'. Students need to consider the COVID-19 pandemic and the health risks that come with going home for Thanksgiving.
Health experts are asking people to not gather in large groups outside of the people living in their household to lower the risk of spreading the virus.
Doctor Alejandro Perez-Trepichio, Chief Medical Officer for Millennium Physicians Group in Naples, says students should consider their environment before deciding to go home.
"So there are two sides to this and one is the person visiting. We have to be aware whether you’re coming from a high infection rate zone and where are you going. In this particular case we're not talking about Florida, we're talking about the micro-environment of the home with your family," says Trepechio.
If the student decides to be with family Doctor Trepechio recommends testing negative for COVID-19, wearing masks and keeping 6 feet apart while visiting.
"Try to take the measures that we already know are very helpful. So maintaining the distance and try to isolate yourself while still seeing one another while keeping in mind the things that keep us well," says Trepechio.
One Florida Gulf Coast University student explains why he is deciding to go home.
"I do plan on going home, because there’s nothing better than family," says Gianfranco Collina.
Another says he and his family are not concerned about the risks.
"My grandma is very uptight about masks and cleaning and so is my mom. Everybody is trying to be sanitized and not get Covid-19. I’m not too worried, they’re not too worried. I take care of myself and they take care of things over there," says Josias Alvarado.
After students return to campus from break, Doctor Trepechio warns that we might see an increase in COVID-19 cases at colleges.
"There has been a correlation between returning to a college town and an increase in numbers in some cases," says Trepechio.