BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — With COVID-19 cases rising, health experts are strongly advising families to minimize the number of guests this Thanksgiving.

UAB put out a list of guidelines this year.

Health officials said if you plan on hosting a thanksgiving gathering, have a small outdoor meal if possible. If it has to be indoors, space out the guests and have windows open.

UAB said during thanksgiving, sharing is a big part but instead, pre-portion meals versus having the traditional buffet line.

They also recommend limiting the number of cooks to just one and keep everyone out of the kitchen, aside from the cook.

Dr. Michael Saag, infectious disease specialist at UAB, said this year has to look different.

“There is no evidence we’re getting the epidemic under control in fact, we’re doing not so much in Alabama but across the country, this is as bad as we’ve ever had it. There were 100,000 new cases in one day in the United States and if you put that into a military scenario, there has never been anything close to that in single days worse of casualties in war,” said Dr. Saag.

Dr. Saag recommends limiting the number of people at the table to 5-7 people. He said consider having your regular guests join via Zoom.

Also, Dr. Saag said if you plan on taking a COVID-19 test before visiting family, it’s really only helpful if the test comes back positive.

“Let’s say I was exposed yesterday and I get tested today and its negative. It’s unlikely, even if I was infected, that test would come out positive and it may not be positive for 3 or 4 days especially if it’s a so called antigen test, so it’s going to give us a potential false sense of security. if test is positive it helps us because then we know ok i have to go into isolation,” said Dr. Saag.

The CDC said if you are traveling, check for any travel restrictions and get your flu shot before you travel.