Gathering for Thanksgiving? White House says wear a mask, warns of 'aggressive' and 'silent' COVID-19 spread

Athens-Clarke County Health Department staff get ready for COVID-19 testing at the free Downtown Health Fair on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, in Athens, Ga. (Joshua L. Jones/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)

The White House says significant behavior changes are necessary to protect families and communities this Thanksgiving in the face of "aggressive, rapid and expanding community spread" of COVID-19 across the United States.

Although some states with strong mitigation strategies are starting to bend their coronavirus curve, the White House COVID-19 Task Force's weekly reports say that's far from true in Georgia and Tennessee.

The task force recommended that both states "ensure indoor masking around vulnerable family members during any gatherings due to the significant amount of virus circulating and the high rate of asymptomatic and undiagnosed infections among family and community members."

Although the disease is currently more widespread in Tennessee as a whole - with 99% of all counties in Tennessee experiencing moderate or high levels of community transmission - the report for Georgia says the state is in "the early stages of full resurgence," with much of North Georgia already among the worst in the state.