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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it recommends Americans do not travel during the Thanksgiving holiday next week to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as cases of the virus spike around the country.

The travel recommendation is a “strong recommendation,” not a requirement, CDC official Henry Walke said on a call with reporters Thursday. The government agency said it was making the recommendation after many states across the country have experienced a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

“We’re alarmed with the exponential increase in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths,” Walke said.

The CDC advised against gathering with anyone who hasn’t lived in the same household for at least fourteen days, the incubation period for the coronavirus. Officials said they were also posting recommendations on their website on how to stay safe during the holidays for those Americans that do choose to travel.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are typically the busiest times of year for domestic travel as Americans gather with friends and family around the country. Shares in airlines and hotel companies have plummeted since the beginning of the outbreak as public officials have advised against unnecessary travel.

(Reporting by Rebecca Spalding Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

This article was written by Manojna Maddipatla and Rebecca Spalding from Reuters and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@industrydive.com.

Photo Credit: The CDC is recommending Americans stay home this Thanksgiving. Sam Thomas / Getty Images