Should I travel inside the United States?

Concerns & Questions

FILE – In this Saturday, March 14, 2020 file photo, travelers wait to check in their luggage at the Los Angeles International Airport. The coronavirus pandemic that’s caused many Americans to avoid airports has others booking spur-of-the moment trips at dirt-cheap ticket prices. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Should you travel inside the United States during the coronavirus outbreak? The CDC does not generally issue advisories or restrictions on travel within the United States.

On their website, there is a “however”. They urge everyone to take into account coronavirus has now been reported in all 50 states plus the five territories, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

If you have to travel inside the U.S. the CDC asks you consider the following six questions: These come directly from the CDC’s website:

Is COVID-19 spreading in the area where you’re going?
If COVID-19 is spreading at your destination, but not where you live, you may be more likely to get infected if you travel there than if you stay home. If you have questions about your destination, you should check your destination’s local health department website for more information.

Will you or your travel companion(s) be in close contact with others during your trip?
Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like coronavirus may increase in crowded settings, particularly closed-in settings with little air circulation. This may include settings such as conferences, public events (like concerts and sporting events), religious gatherings, public spaces (like movie theatres and shopping malls), and public transportation (like buses, metro, trains).

Are you or your travel companion(s) more likely to get severe illness if you get COVID-19?
People at higher risk for severe disease are older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes). CDC recommends that travelers at higher risk for COVID-19 complications avoid all cruise travel and nonessential air travel.

Do you have a plan for taking time off from work or school, in case you are told to stay home for 14 days for self-monitoring or if you get sick with COVID-19?
If you have close contact with someone with COVID-19 during travel, you may be asked to stay home to self-monitor and avoid contact with others for up to 14 days after travel. If you become sick with COVID-19, you may be unable to go to work or school until you’re considered noninfectious. You will be asked to avoid contact with others (including being in public places) during this period of infectiousness.

Do you live with someone who is older or has a serious, chronic medical condition?
If you get sick with COVID-19 upon your return from travel, your household contacts may be at risk of infection. Household contacts who are older adults or persons of any age with severe chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

COVID-19 spreading where I live when I return from travel?
Consider the risk of passing COVID-19 to others during travel, particularly if you will be in close contact with people who are older adults or have severe chronic health condition These people are at higher risk of getting very sick. If your symptoms are mild or you don’t have a fever, you may not realize you are infectious.

Ultimately, you have to decide for yourself what you need to do. For business, make sure the travel is essential. Non-essential business travel is being discouraged. With that being said, if your job is considered essential, your employer can ask you to travel and you may have to comply.

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