During this time of year, many of us are used to packing our bags and heading out to visit friends or family. However, with COVID-19, it’s safest to stay home this year and gather virtually instead. Traveling increases your chances of catching COVID-19 or the flu. If you are thinking of heading out anyway, here are some things you’ll want to consider.
- Are you, those in your household, any of your travel companions, or those you’ll be visiting at your destination in the high-risk category for COVID-19? If so, stay home.
- What are cases like in your community? What are they like where you are headed? More cases means higher risk.
- How full are hospitals in your community and at your destination? This is another risk factor.
- Any requirements or restrictions either at home or at your destination? Be sure to follow them!
- Have you quarantined for 14 days prior to traveling? If possible, take this step.
- What form of transportation are you taking? Travel by bus, train, or airplane may make social distancing harder.
- Anyone in your travel group live outside of your household? This increases risk as well.
If, after considering all of the above, you still decide to travel, be sure to take the extra precautions outlined below.
This doesn’t guarantee you won’t be spreading the virus, as it is just a point-in-time indicator, and you can still contract or incubate the virus after testing. However, it’s a helpful step to take, especially if you can quarantine for two weeks before the test, and stay in quarantine until you travel. Consider getting tested after you travel, too, and quarantine for another 14 days if you can.
Get Your Flu Shot
It’s not too late! If you haven’t gotten your flu shot, now’s the time to do so. Note that the flu shot won’t prevent you from getting COVID-19, but it will help lessen the burden on our healthcare system.
Follow COVID-19 Precautions
We could all probably recite it in our sleep: wear a mask, wash hands, and social distance. But that doesn’t change the fact that some of us are still a little lax on following these steps. If you’re traveling, you really need to be diligent about following these precautions.
Make sure you have enough masks, hand sanitizer, and any other supplies to last the duration of your trip! You’ll want to limit the number of stops you’ll need to take, so now’s not the time for packing light. Take everything you need and double-check your packing list so that you’re not making last-minute stops.
Tips for staying safe for any mode of travel can be found here.
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