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UVA doctor warns people about traveling for Thanksgiving

Many people would be getting ready to hop on a plane or jump in the car to see relatives for Thanksgiving, but Jackson says now is the time to alter those plans.
(FILE) Traveling during the holidays (Source: WVIR)
(FILE) Traveling during the holidays (Source: WVIR)((FILE) Traveling during the holidays (Source: WVIR))
Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 2:43 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - As COVID-19 cases begin to rise throughout the country, a University of Virginia doctor is now warning people to avoid traveling for Thanksgiving and to stay within your own bubble.

“Especially with the increase in cases that we’re seeing nationwide, it certainly is safer not to travel in group settings,” UVA Infectious Disease Dr. Patrick Jackson said.

Many people would be getting ready to hop on a plane or jump in the car to see relatives for Thanksgiving, but Jackson says now is the time to alter those plans.

“There is some data there are ways to stay safer on planes, but the safest thing would not to be traveling on planes at all,” he said.

If you are still going to fly in a few weeks, Jackson says book a flight with an airline enforcing social distancing onboard.

“If I were having to get on a plane, I would wear a mask, I would wear eye protection, and I would try to stay as far away from people as possible. Preferentially using an airline that was kind of leaving some seats empty in order to make that possible,” he said.

Jackson says traveling on the road should be taken just as seriously. “I certainly wouldn’t get into a small, private vehicle with someone who wasn’t already in my COVID bubble. The largest risk there would be stopping to use the bathroom at rest stops, and again, I would make sure to wear a mask, eye protection, and hand sanitizer.”

When it’s time to stop and grab a bite to eat on the road, Jackson advises people to use the carryout option and sit outside the rest stop.

“I would say there are precautions that make it safer to travel, but certainly not traveling and not gathering is going to be the safest option,” Jackson said.

If you are traveling for the holidays, Jackson says it’s important to check the coronavirus restrictions inside the state or country you’re visiting before booking any plans.

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