BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Thanksgiving is two weeks away, and this year’s celebrations will be unlike any other.

If you’re planning to attend a gathering, health officials at Johns Hopkins say now is the time for everyone to start reducing exposures.

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As the holidays approach, many are looking forward to reconnecting with family and friends.

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“That’s the time when you get a break from the norm,” a local resident told WJZ.

But with the current surge of COVID-19 cases in Maryland and nationwide, many are now weighing the odds of traveling to see loved ones.

“It’s hard,” another resident said.

Dr. Keri Althoff is with the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“Staying at home is the lowest risk,” Dr. Althoff said. “Driving a personal vehicle could be less risky than flying or taking a bus or train”

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Experts are urging travelers to do their part in helping stop the spread of the virus and avoiding a post-holiday spike in cases.

At BWI Airport, officials say the staff is utilizing enhanced cleaning and sanitation procedures.

Now, families across the country are deciding how, when and where to get together for the holiday season, if at all.

Some are choosing to travel while others say they’re holding off on traditional holiday plans.

If you’re considering attending a gathering, experts recommend limiting the number of guests as much as possible.

You’ll also have to decide where you’ll be hosting.

Experts say anything that mimics the outdoors is going to lower the risk of spreading the virus.

It’s also important to remember that you’re not completely in the clear after the holiday celebrations. Health officials recommend you monitor symptoms closely for at least two weeks after the holiday gathering.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.