UVA physician warns folks about touring for Thanksgiving

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. (WVIR) – As COVID-19 cases rise across the country, a University of Virginia doctor is now warning people not to travel for Thanksgiving and stay in your own bubble.

“Especially with the increase in cases we’re seeing across the country, it’s certainly safer not to travel in groups,” said Patrick Jackson, UVA infectious disease doctor.

Lots of people would prepare to get on a plane or jump in the car to see relatives for Thanksgiving, but Jackson says the time has come to change those plans.

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

If you’re going to be flying in a couple of weeks, Jackson says you’re booking a flight with an airline to enforce social distancing on board.

“If I had to get on an airplane, I would wear a mask, I would wear eye protection and I would try to stay as far away from people as possible. Preferably use an airline that has left some seats free to make this possible, ”he said.

Jackson says road travel 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 greatest risk is not using the toilet during breaks, and I would wear a mask, eye protection and hand sanitizer here too. “

When it’s time to stop and have a bite to eat along the way, Jackson advises people to take the take away option and sit outside the rest stop.

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

If you’re traveling on vacation, Jackson said it is important to check coronavirus restrictions in the state or country you are in before booking any plans.

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