Traveling for the holiday? What you need to know

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – While travel is not encouraged as we head into the Christmas Holidays, many Americans still plan to take to the skies and roads to visit loved ones.

If you are planning to travel, there are a few guidelines you should follow. News 2 spoke with David Aronoff, Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, to learn more about what Middle Tennesseans need to know.

It’s recommended that you get a COVID test and your results before you start your journey for those who plan to travel. Dr. Aronoff recommends researching turnaround times before getting your test.

“If somebody is going to get tested at a site where it’s taking three to five days to get results back, obviously getting tested on the day of travel is not really very helpful,” Dr. Aronoff said. “So for sure, people should try to figure out what the turnaround times are for results wherever they are being tested and build that into their schedule.”

If you notice any symptoms of COVID-19 at all, it’s recommended that you cancel your trip. If you have no symptoms, remember to follow current guidelines. You’ll also want to get your flu shot if you haven’t already.

“So if at all possible, make sure you’re up-to-date on your flu shot that you’re healthy when you travel. If you travel and you pay close attention to social distancing, wearing your masks, and if at all possible, try not to be taking part in gatherings this holiday, and let’s hope that the next holiday season is a really normal one.”

If you’ve already contracted COVID-19, you still need to take steps to keep other people safe.

“Well, it’s important for people to know that if they’ve had COVID in the past, they likely do have some immune protection from getting sick again if they get re-infected. Sort of like what a vaccine accomplishes. So, if I’ve had COVID in the past, if I get re-infected my symptoms may be very mild or non-existent, but I could still be contagious for a period of time. I could still transmit the virus to somebody else, even if I’m not contagious for a particularly long time because I’m immune to some extent.”

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