READING, Pa. - Just days away from Thanksgiving, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging caution with a "but if" approach to pandemic safety-related guidance.

The organization is strongly encouraging people to stay home and celebrate only with those in their households, but if people do plan to travel, they should consider a number of precautionary measures.

"People are going to make the smart decisions, I'm sure, and you know if someone's sick or has a fever and symptoms... stay away, but a lot of people, I know, are kind of going for it as usual," said Luke Riffle of West Lawn.

The CDC recommends checking the case numbers and hospital capacity wherever you plan on visiting. As for the gatherings themselves, it is recommended that people mask up, use disposable dishes and silverware, and bring their own food.

"We have plans to go to my sister-in-law's right now up in Allentown," said Brian Keeney of Douglassville. "They've been kind of quarantined, working from home. Their children aren't going to school this week. We've been getting tested, too, at work and at home, so we feel pretty safe."

With travel plans differing for many ahead of the holidays, the CDC has a new tool that allows you to enter a ZIP code to find local guidance.

"I think that's a good innovation there because I didn't know about that," said Keeney. "We were just kind of calling them and checking with them personally, so that's be a good way to know what's going on in that area."

As altered plans lay ahead for many this Thanksgiving, cases continue to climb and some people must cope with the reality of the pandemic.

"It definitely hit harder this week," said Jessica Ritchey of Bowmansville. "My grandmother just got diagnosed with COVID in the nursing home, and she's currently laying on her death bed right now."

More information on safety guidelines can be found on the CDC's website.

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