Public health expert offers tips for summer travel and family vacations during COVID-19
Many people rely on travel and vacation to decompress and take care of their mental health, which is especially important now during the pandemic. Summer travel will however bring some challenges this year for vacation goers to protect themselves from COVID-19, says Virginia Tech public health expert Lisa M. Lee.
“Traveling this summer presents challenges. The fundamental preventive measures, however, are not that different. Maintain at least 6 feet - more if exercising - away from others, wear a face covering in public spaces, avoid touching your face, and wash your hands often.”
“Avoid vacationing in crowded spaces, consider using your own vehicle for transport to avoid close contact with other travelers, and if you are going to stay in a hotel, be sure to ask them about their cleaning and disinfection process between guests.”
“If you plan to vacation with others outside your household, consider a pre-vacation self-quarantine of 2 to 4 weeks so when you come together for vacation everyone in your group is not contagious. Then be sure that you only have close contact with each other and engage in the other preventive measures mentioned above.”
“If you are vacationing with children, consider the challenges of ensuring that they are able to maintain safe physical distance, wear a mask, avoid touching their face, and washing their hands frequently.”
“If traveling this summer feels like it will increase instead of decrease your stress, consider creating a fun and unusual vacation at home.”
Lisa M. Lee is a public health expert specializing in infectious disease epidemiology and public health ethics. She also serves as the associate vice president for research and innovation at Virginia Tech, where she leads the division of Scholarly Integrity and Research Compliance.
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