Above image credit: AllSheCooks.com
After several months stuck at home due to COVID-19, it’s understandable that you might want to get away for a bit. If you do decide to hit the road, you should take caution. Here’s how to help safeguard yourself from coronavirus while traveling.
Consider where you’re going and who you’re traveling with
“When planning a trip, it’s important to research the current COVID-19 status in the area,” says CityMD physician, Dr. Frank Illuzzi. “If the virus is increasing where you’re traveling then you should choose a different location.” To prevent infecting others, also consider the likelihood that you may be carrying the virus. Some questions to ask yourself:
- What is the current status of the virus in the region?
- How many cases are there where I live?
- Are my companions in high-risk groups?
- Do I have to quarantine on arrival? Some states require this. You don’t want your trip to be extended due to restrictions.
- New York, New Jersey and Connecticut require travelers from states with high coronavirus rates to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Be sure to check if your travel destination is one of those states.
Figure out the best form of travel
“It hasn’t yet been determined what the safest form of travel is,” says Dr. Illuzzi. “But, based upon how the disease spreads, being less than six feet from others indicates risk.” If you’re not driving in your own car, look into what precautions the transportation companies are taking and how easy it will be to social distance while you are on a train or plane.
Get yourself tested before you leave
CityMD currently has two tests available: a viral test to tell you if you have a current infection, and an antibody test that tells you if you had a previous infection. The presence of antibodies does not guarantee immunity. Consider the following when getting tested:
- It generally takes three to five days to receive your results. Give yourself that amount of time before you travel, and be prepared to cancel your trip if necessary.
- If you test positive for the coronavirus, don’t travel, and quarantine yourself for 14 days.
- Even if your test turns out negative, continue to take precautions such as social distancing, wearing a mask in public, and frequent hand washing.
- Stop by your nearest CityMD to get tested.
Prepare thoroughly for your trip
- Pack coronavirus essentials that can help you stay protected. These could include disposable rubber gloves, disinfecting wipes, multiple face masks or face coverings, hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol, bleach, and a chemically resistant spray bottle.
- Stock up on things like groceries, liquor, medications, dog food if you’re traveling with pets, and, of course, toilet paper. By having these on hand, you won’t need to venture out in public as often while traveling, which can reduce your potential exposure to coronavirus.
Take precautions on your trip
- Clean your hands regularly, washing them for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap, especially after you’ve been in public spaces.
- Wear a mask when in public.
- Wipe down surfaces before and after you touch them.
- If restaurants are open, avoid eating inside. Delivery or curbside pickup are the best options.
“Staying home remains the best way to prevent yourself and others from getting the coronavirus,” says Dr. Illuzzi. “The next-best option is careful planning, avoiding public places as much as possible, wearing face coverings, and washing your hands constantly. And, of course, make sure to have fun!”
As a board-certified Physician in Emergency Medicine, Dr. Frank Illuzzi has served in many clinical, academic, and leadership roles. Most recently, he served as the Chair of Emergency Medicine at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Connecticut. Dr. Illuzzi also holds an academic appointment as Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Frank Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University. Among his many achievements, Dr. Illuzzi was a finalist for the Magida Award for “Outstanding Young Physician of the Year.” He has published many articles and textbook chapters in his areas of academic interest, and is a sought after lecturer for national medical conferences.
This article originally appeared on CITYMD.COM. Check out the original article here.