Before summer ends, some of us might be thinking about how to squeeze in a trip somewhere. With COVID-19 still spreading across communities, health officials do not recommend travel. For those who must, here are some points to consider before hitting the road.
Catherine Kroll is Director for Infection Prevention for PeaceHealth Oregon. She said the first questions to ask are ‘Where am I going?’ and ‘What are the COVID-19 rates and regulations there?’
“You want to know if you’re allowed to be in those communities or if you’re asked to shelter in place for 14 days when you get there,” Kroll said.
Also, who you are traveling with? Are they at high risk of infection? Or are they likely to choose behaviors--like bar-hopping-- that make them a risk to you? Kroll reminds some rest stops, campgrounds, even gas stations are closed, so be prepared.
“I always travel with a normal first aid kit but now I travel with my COVID First Aid kit,” she said.
That kit contains masks, sanitizer, wipes and a thermometer. Kroll reminded too that things can change fast during a pandemic.
“If you’re traveling to somewhere in a month, you want to be checking at least weekly to see what their COVID case counts look like," she said. "They may fall dramatically and that makes that a safer place to travel as long as you’re practicing your good travel hygiene or they may dramatically increase and make you rethink, ‘Gosh, this isn’t the right place for me to be this summer.”
Travel sure isn’t like it used to be so Kroll's final advice is to “pack your patience.”