Traveling for spring break? Here are some tips to protect yourself from COVID-19, from UTHealth experts

Photo via Pexels.
Photo via Pexels.

It’s understandable to have anxieties around coming in contact with COVID-19 while traveling for spring break, but there are simple things you can do to give yourself peace of mind -- and stay healthy.

Dr. Susan Wootton, from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, created a checklist of questions college students and families traveling during spring should ask themselves before taking off.

Wootton recommended checking in on the following:

1. Are travelers healthy?

2. Have the travelers received flu shots?

3. Do any of the travelers or anyone the travelers come in contact with have any underlying high-risk conditions?

4. Are there any travel restrictions for your destination listed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the U.S. Department of State page?

5. Is the trip a cruise?

6. Are there any major events after the trip that would be problematic if you and your travelers were quarantined for a period of time?

7. Would anxiety during travel ruin the trip for you?

8. Are you reasonably able to implement common preventative measures, like washing your hands, during travel?

9. Would your regret be manageable if you or a family member caught COVID-19?

Depending on your answers, Wootton said, you should weigh your options and see what is best for you and your fellow travelers. For example, if you answered “yes” to “would anxiety during travel ruin the trip for you?” then you might want to think about whether the outing will be worth it.

If you do end up traveling, Dr. Luis Ostrosky, who is a professor of infectious diseases at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, recommends many action items you can take to stay healthy.

There are simple things you can do like carry hand sanitizer with you at all times, and wash your hands often. It’s recommended to wash your hands, but hand sanitizer can be an alternative for when you’re on the go.

Ostrosky also recommends not touching your face, and not touching things unless you absolutely have to.

It’s a good idea to keep on checking the CDC’s website for travel notices to see if there are any COVID-19 outbreaks at your destination.

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