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Doctors advise against small indoor gatherings this holiday season

“If the virus gets into the air, it’s going to affect everybody around," Dr. Linda Yancey said.

HOUSTON — With coronavirus numbers rising across the state, the CDC has a new warning: small indoor gatherings are not smart. They say this is especially important with the holidays coming up.

Restaurants are increasing capacity, and across the state, bars are starting to open. But maybe you don’t feel safe heading out, so you stay home. That’s fine. But inviting friends over inside may be a bad idea.

“Definitely not gathering in small groups in people’s homes. That is about the least safe thing you can do," said Dr. Linda Yancey, Memorial Hermannn infectious disease expert.

Dr. Yancey said while a small, intimate gathering may feel safe, it could be anything but.

“If the virus gets into the air, it’s going to affect everybody around," Dr. Yancey said.

She said the main reason behind that is homes don’t have the right ventilation.

“Any virus that’s breathed out in the air is going to stay in a very small location in a room, and if you have bunch of people in there, they are all going to be exposed," Dr. Yancey said.

Her advice is to wear masks and take the party outside.

“Gathering outdoors is going to be safer. So instead of having people over in your house, may go and have a socially distant picnic," Dr. Yancey said.

With statewide infections on the rise, flu season officially here, and Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, she said doctors are worried. 

“It is concerning, especially with the holidays coming up," Dr. Yancey said. “This is going to be a very bad time to gather indoors. This might be a good year to have small family Thanksgiving rather than meeting with your extended family.”