Ways to reduce your risk if traveling for the holidays

Traveling during COVID-19? Here are ways to cut risk

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The best advice for traveling this holiday season is “don’t do it.”

But if you’re willing to accept the risks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pulled together some tips to keep you safer during your travels whether by plane, train or automobile.

“The best thing we can do for the safety of ourselves and others is to not travel this holiday season,” said Christina M. Breit, M.D., internal medicine physician at Norton Community Medical Associates – Mallard Creek. “Our emotional well-being during this time is important, and if you must travel, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk.”

In addition to wearing a mask when around others, keeping 6 feet of separation and cleaning your hands often, here are some safety steps you can consider when taking different modes of transportation.

Protect yourself and those close to you

With our schedules upended this year, you might want to make a specific plan to get your flu vaccine.

Get a flu shot

Air travel

Keep in mind that security lines and airport terminals may present challenges to keep 6 feet of separation, and it will be difficult for airport staff to keep up with cleaning frequently touched surfaces.

Think about how you’ll get to the airport and how you’ll get from the airport to your destination. Public transportation and ride-sharing can present coronavirus risks.

Once on the plane, air circulation and filtration tend to help limit spread of viruses. But on crowded flights, you may easily find yourself within 6 feet of other passengers to your side, in front or behind you.

Bus or train travel

Any length of time on a bus or train, including traveling to or from an airport, easily can put you within 6 feet of others. Avoid touching surfaces and, if you must, wash or sanitize your hands. Travel during nonpeak hours if possible to avoid crowds. At stations or stops, avoid crowded spaces.

Car travel

Pack food to reduce the number of stops. Even then, fill-ups and bathroom breaks can put you in close contact with others and frequently touched surfaces.

At the gas pumps, use disinfecting wipes on handles and buttons. After getting gas or using the restroom, use hand sanitizer or wash with soap if available.

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