Washington DC, Nov 19, 2020 — U.S. doctors, nurses and hospital officials joined forces Thursday to urge scaled-back holiday gatherings to help keep Americans and overburdened hospitals safe during the coronavirus surge.

“In the strongest possible terms, we urge you to celebrate responsibly,” the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and American Nurses Association said in an open letter to the U.S. public.

“We are all weary and empathize with the desire to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, but given the serious risks, we underscore how important it is to wear masks, maintain physical distancing and wash your hands,” the groups said.

Their advice echoes guidance from the federal CDC, which recommends virtual gatherings with distant relatives or friends, or limited in-person celebrations with social distancing, mask wearing and other precautions.

“We will get through this pandemic,” the letter said, “but the only way out is to follow the science and adhere to the public health steps we know work.’’ – Reuters