SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Travel data suggests Utahns ranked the worst among U.S. travelers for following public health official’s guidance to stay home for Thanksgiving. Post-trip experts share what to do during a pandemic.
GPS data measured Americans’ travel trips of 50 miles or more over the Thanksgiving holiday and found travel was down 35% from last year, making it the least traveled major holiday this year.
In Utah, travel data company Arrivals reported the state saw the smallest drop in travelers at 13.9%.
Salt Lake City International Airport spokesperson Nancy Volmer tells ABC4 News the airport had more than 13,000 travelers come through the first door on Sunday.
For those who spent Thanksgiving with others from outside of their home, public health officials said it’s possible they were exposed to COVID-19.
“When you return from your Thanksgiving dinner, if you think that there was a risk of being exposed to whom you might not have much awareness of – in terms of their practices, their risk for their own exposures and infections – it would be prudent for you to assume that you could be infected,” said Dr. Todd Vento, an Intermountain Healthcare infectious diseases physician.
“Just be smart about it, right? Know if you were masked, who were you around, did anyone around you end up getting sick? And just watch for any symptoms,” said Nikki Gilmore, a University of Utah Health senior nursing ambulatory director.
In an effort to limit the virus’ spread, Utah health officials urge people to continue to practice common public health guidelines and encourage them to be extra cautious with those they spend time with.
“Make sure you do not interact with other individuals like elderly relatives, those who have comorbidities or underlying illnesses that could put them at risk,” Vento said.
“If you start to get those symptoms, then you are gonna wanna isolate and quarantine yourself and then get tested when the appropriate time is,” Gilmore said.
Travel guidelines vary by state, and the Utah Department of Health’s website says upon coming home, a person does not need to be tested or quarantine.
However, if they do have symptoms of the virus, to call their doctor.
Travel guidelines at the Centers for Disease Control ask people to watch their health, wear a mask, and limit close contact from anyone who didn’t travel with those who traveled for 14 days.