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Tips for taking a safe spring break

Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 9:02 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Spring Break is coming up, and many families are likely working to finalize plans on how to spend the time.

The easy answer is this: Staying home and social distancing is the best way to keep your family safe. But knowing some families will still travel, here are some tips on staying safe.

“If you’re going to do it, do it with your family!” Epidemiologist Chataura Jackson said. “Stay with your family. If you’re going to travel, drive. You’re within your immediate family.”

Consider staying at a vacation home that is only your family, minimizing contact with other people. If you’re going to fly or take a train - wear a mask, social distance as much as you can, wash your hands and avoid touching your face. And just because you have a vaccine, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still wear a mask or social distance if you’re in public areas.

“Think about it as the Swiss cheese model,” said Jackson. “So, each mitigation strategy is a piece of swiss cheese. They have holes. But when you layer them up, you reduce the risk of something getting through. So you have the mask, the social distance, the handwashing, the disinfecting and cleaning. The vaccination is in addition to that.”

Plus, she says when we all wear masks, it helps us all remember a mask.

“If I see you wearing your mask and I forget mine, then I’m like OK,” said Jackson. “I can go and get my mask! When people stop doing the mitigation strategy. Just because I got vaccinated, people.”

There haven’t been reports of huge outbreaks at schools, so is there still reason to be concerned?

“There’s always an increased risk of importing things after like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s. So, there’s always that possibility that when people go on these vacations in areas that have high prevalence of COVID, and you’re not one getting tested for COVID after, there’s that likelihood of potentially importing. But if the school’s mitigation strategies are in place, then they can catch that case before it becomes an outbreak situation,” said Jackson.

Finally, get tested before and after your trip - just a nice courtesy to make sure you don’t unknowingly spread the virus. Call your pediatrician or doctor now to schedule those tests, that way you’re booked and not scrambling to find one when you get back.

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