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COVID-19 and Traveling in the U.S.

As the weather gets warmer and we inch closer to the summer season, it’s traditional for many Americans to set their travel plans in place. In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, people are encouraged to practice social distancing and avoid leaving their homes for non-essential travel. But what about traveling within the United States, is that okay?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not typically issue travel advisories or restrictions for travel within the U.S. However, the CDC states the Coronavirus has officially been reported in all 50 states, though some areas are having more of an issue with community spread than others. Can travel increase the risk of spread? It can, especially when people place themselves in heavily crowded areas, such as airports.

What to Consider Before Traveling

Before you travel, the CDC suggests considering the following:

  • Has COVID-19 been spreading in the area that you’re going to? If it has been, but not where you live, you have a higher chance of being infected than if you stay home. If you have any questions, check out the destination’s local health department’s website before making travel plans.
  • Will you be in close contact with other people on your trip? When you’re in a crowded setting, your risk of contracting COVID-19 increases, especially if you’re in a closed-in setting with poor air circulation (for example, a public transportation bus, a train, or a public space).
  • Are you at a high risk of getting COVID-19? Certain people are more susceptible to getting COVID-19, such as the elderly, people with compromised immune symptoms, and people with serious chronic medical conditions.
  • Can you stay home for 14 days if you’re told to or if you get sick with COVID-19? Many people who travel are asked to stay home for 14 days for self-monitoring.
  • Do you live with someone who is at a high risk of contracting the disease? You could be perfectly healthy, but do you live with someone who is older or who has a chronic medical condition? If you get sick from traveling, you can put your household at a higher risk of infection because people with compromised health are at a higher risk of a serious infection.

To read the CDC’s COVID-19 travel recommendations by country, click here. If you’re looking for ways to help our local community during this public health crisis, we invite you to read, “Opportunities For Giving During COVID-19 Health Crisis.”