Two-thirds of Americans plan to celebrate Thanksgiving this year with gatherings that will resemble pre-pandemic times, a new Monmouth University poll found.
Released Nov. 16, the nationwide poll shows a marked difference between the upcoming holiday and last Thanksgiving, when just under half of the country planned to spend the holiday alone or with only their immediate household. This year, that number dropped to 1 in 4.
Patrick Murray, director of Monmouth University Polling Institute said, “Break out the extra table card. Thanksgiving is back, at least for most people. Some are still cautious, however, and will be having a virtual gathering again this year.”
Among the more notably revelations from respondents include:
- About 63% of Americans plan to spend Thanksgiving with the same number of people they did prior to the pandemic and 5% plan to celebrate with even more people around the table.
- Almost one in five Americans (18%) are planning overnight travel during the holiday, up from 10% in 2020.
- Almost one-third of those surveyed anticipate this year’s celebration will include fewer people compared to pre-COVID holidays; that is still down from 53% in a 2020 pre-holiday poll who said they were planning smaller gatherings.
- 26% of Americans will be spending Thanksgiving either alone or with just their immediate household, a 45% decrease from 2020.
Additionally, 16% said they planned to celebrate remotely via Zoom or video, which is down from 24% last Thanksgiving.
Political, Racial Differences
Monmouth University’s poll also examined America’s partisan divide as party of their holiday gathering. The pollsters found that the percentage of Democrats who plan to spend Thanksgiving alone or with immediate families dropped from 58% last year to 26% this year. According to the survey, there were smaller drops among Republicans (29% to 19%) and Independents (48% to 30%). The poll, which was conducted between Nov. 4 and 8, surveyed 811 Americans and has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.
The survey found race-based differences in the size of this year’s get-togethers on Turkey Day as well.
About 40% of people of color are planning on hosting fewer people than normal, down from 53% last year. The number of White Americans who said they will host smaller gatherings declined from 54% in 2020 to 25% in 2021.
Vaccination Status Not A Huge Factor
For those who plan to host or attend festivities outside of their immediate household, the spread of COVID-19 or vaccination status does not appear to be a huge concern, the poll found.
- Two-thirds (64%) of those who plan on hosting Thanksgiving dinner said they will not ask whether their guests have been vaccinated, while 27% will require their guests to be vaccinated.
- About 60% of those visiting someone else’s home said it does not matter to them if other guests are vaccinated. Just 23% will ask their hosts about the vaccination status of fellow guests.
The poll found that both guests and hosts who said they do not care about vaccination statuses are less likely to be vaccinated against coronavirus than the overall public. Most of this group (62%) leans toward the Republican party and half are non-Hispanic whites without a college degree.
Among those who will ask guests or hosts about vaccination statuses, 99% report being vaccinated themselves. According to the poll, this group is more likely to identify with Democrats (77%), be college graduates (46%) and be African American (20%).
Fauci: Fully Vaxxed Folks Can ‘Feel Good’ About Gathering
The arrival of the holiday season comes as COVID-19 cases are on the rise, a trend that has public health experts concerned. More than 195 million Americans — about 60% of the population — are fully vaccinated, but the latest wave is driven by those who have not been inoculated against the virus, officials say.
White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said fully vaccinated individuals can “feel good about enjoying a typical Thanksgiving and Christmas with family and friends.”
However, he warned that cases are still high and urged people to wear masks when they are out and about in the community and around groups indoors.
The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey totaled 13,384,970 in-state, plus an additional 519,008 administered out-of-state for a grand total of 13,903,978 as of Nov. 23. Of those who have received the vaccine, 5,936,073 received their second dose or the one jab Johnson & Johnson dose in state and another 220,869 out of state, bringing those fully vaccinated to 6,156,942.
State officials reported boosters and third shots of 612,136 for Pfizer and 481,591 for Moderna. A total of 21,193 New Jerseyans have received their Johnson & Johnson booster shot. Overall, 1,114,920 have received a booster or third shot.
In North Jersey, Bergen County has delivered 1,483,147 doses (654,082 fully vaccinated), Essex 1,165,786 doses (517,430), Hudson 1,026,177 doses (464,876), Morris 808,159 doses (352,797), Passaic 708,064 doses (321,269), Sussex 191,085 doses (85,533), and Warren 125,554 doses (55,628).
As of Nov. 23, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Jersey was 1,073,295 with 1,953 total new PCR cases. There were 823 probable cases, bringing the cumulative total of antigen tests to 162,856. The total number of individual cases for the state is 1,236,151.
As for those that have passed, the state reported 30 confirmed deaths, bringing that total to 25,472. The state listed probable deaths at 2,823, bringing the overall total to 28,295. State officials noted nine deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.
For North Jersey counties on Nov. 23, Bergen had a total of 189 new confirmed cases and 55 new probable cases, Essex 184 new cases and 30 new probable case, Hudson 122 new cases and 21 new probable cases, Morris 100 new confirmed cases and 34 new probable cases, Passaic 101 new cases and 34 new probable cases, Sussex 35 new cases and 19 new probable cases, and Warren 49 new cases and five new probable cases.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,864, followed by Bergen at 2,706, Hudson with 2,177, Passaic at 1,826, Morris at 1,050, Sussex at 279, and Warren County at 234.
In regards to probable deaths reported Nov. 22, Bergen has 311, Essex has 310, Morris has 267, Hudson has 223, Passaic has 207, Sussex has 71 and Warren has 26.
Of the 5,828,060 fully vaccinated individuals studied as of Nov. 8, 50,762 New Jersey residents have tested positive for COVID who were fully vaccinated, resulting in 1,061 COVID-related hospitalizations and 300 COVID-related deaths. All those are less than 1% in each category.
In the week of Nov. 1-7, breakthroughs accounted for 18.1% of all new cases (1,707 of 9,429), 0.4% of new hospilizations (two of 525), and none of the 115 deaths.
As for the rate of transmission reported Nov. 23, it remained unchanged from the day before at 1.23. The daily rate of infections from those tested Nov. 18 was 4.8%; by region, the rate was 4.3% in the North, 5.1% in the Central region and 5.4% in the South.
The state reported 841 patients were hospitalized with 70 of the state’s 71 hospitals making their reports. By region, there were 286 in the North, 277 in the Central and 278 in the South. Of those hospitalized, 182 are in intensive care units and 74 on ventilators. A total of 75 patients were discharged in the last 24 hour reporting period.
Officials have continually cited transmission rate, hospitalizations, intensive care units, ventilators and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.
In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions as of Nov. 17, the state has tracked 179 school outbreaks and 1,026 cases linked to those outbreaks since the 2021/2022 school year starting Aug. 7, up 19 outbreaks and 166 cases from the week previous.
Outbreaks are defined as three or more laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff with onsets within a 14 day period, linked within the school setting, do not share a household, and were not identified as close contacts of each other in another setting during standard case investigation or contact tracing.
For North Jersey in the new report, Passaic County has eight confirmed outbreak with 102 cases, Bergen County has 16 confirmed outbreak with 74 cases, Sussex has 15 confirmed outbreak with 58 cases, Morris County has nine confirmed outbreaks with 58 cases, Essex County has eight confirmed outbreak with 34 cases and Hudson County has eight confirmed outbreaks with 28 cases. No outbreaks were reported in Warren County.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 117 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 1,181 of the cases, broken down between 642 residents and 541 staff.
Cumulatively, 1,838 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 34,134 residents and 23,338 staff, for a total of 57,472.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 8,682 on Nov. 23. The facilities are reporting to the state 8,012 residents deaths and 145 staff deaths.