Should you delay your trip due to the delta COVID-19 variant surge? Experts weigh in
On Monday, airlines resumed a number of flights between the US and the UK as the UK announced plans to reopen to vaccinated Americans.
The announcement came, however, as fears about the highly contagious Delta variant, the dominant strain of COVID-19 spreading in the United States, mount and many question their summer travel.
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Here's what two infectious disease experts said about how safe it is to take this vacation:
On average, according to the Transportation Security Administration, more than two million people are screened every day at US airports. But that doesn't mean you can safely get infected in a crowded terminal.
"I think airports tend to be one of the safest places to go, given the recommendations for wearing masks in airports and on airplanes," said Dr. Colleen Kraft, associate chief physician at Emory University Hospital, told ABC News. "You should be able to avoid transmission if everyone around you is wearing a mask and you are wearing a mask."
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Kraft recommends vacationing outdoors in places where you have space and can easily keep your distance from others.
PHOTO: A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent guides travelers to a checkpoint at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTX) in Romulus, Michigan, June 12, 2021. (Matthew Hatcher / Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE.)
"We chose Yellowstone and Grand Teton," she said. "We didn't know what the state of the pandemic would be like this summer, so we wanted to do a national park, some outdoor thing like rafting, kayaking - things with high ventilation and minimal people."
Dr. Anne Rimoin, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said whether or not it is safe to travel also depends heavily on your vaccination status.
"If you are vaccinated, there is no need to worry about getting really sick yourself, being hospitalized and dying is a very unlikely scenario," she said. "If you are not vaccinated, this is really something to consider."
But it's not a universal scenario.
"Everyone has to think about their risk tolerance and act accordingly," said Rimoin. "It is important to remember that there is growing evidence that you can vaccinate yourself with this virus and pass it on to other people."
PHOTO: People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing site in Miami-Dade County on Monday, July 26, 2021, in Hialeah, Fla. (Lynne Sladky / AP)
If you are about to go on a trip, the epidemiology professor recommends that you wear a mask indoors - even if you don't have to wear a mask - wash your hands and distance yourself from other people.
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"If I were traveling I would get a KN95," she said. “They offer a lot more protection. They fit a lot better. And if you don't have these, you can use a double mask and really make sure these masks fit you well because that will make a huge difference. "
Rimoin's last vacation was on July 4th.
"If I had a trip I would go," she said. "I would just be a lot more thoughtful about what I do and then when I got back I would probably get tested to make sure I didn't have a breakthrough infection and maybe wait to see my mom or someone who is older. " for a week or two just to make sure I'm safe. It doesn't mean that you have to give up your life completely. "
Should you postpone your trip due to the rise in the Delta COVID-19 variant? Weigh experts originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com
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