- Sep 15, 2021
As summer winds down, we may begin to think about fall, whether it’s preparing for school or counting down the days until cooler weather replaces the oppressive heat. But it’s not quite time to bring out the sweaters just yet; we still have Labor Day weekend to look forward to before summer is done.
While many of us anticipate a long weekend with family and friends or a much-needed vacation, the extremely contagious delta type of COVID-19 has disrupted many late-summer plans. With the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths on the upswing, you may want to reconsider your Labor Day weekend plans.
Making even minor tweaks to your plans can assist protect you and people around you while also reducing your stress about the situation. Here’s what you can do to take additional steps and play it safe, whether you are meeting up with friends and family in your nearby surroundings or have impending travel plans.
Travel Tips to Be Safe
Check State and Local Guidelines Before Travelling
Double-check any travel limitations or visitor rules of your destination before making plans to cross state lines. Quarantine restrictions or a negative test may be required by state, local, or territorial governments, according to the CDC. This is especially important for overseas travel; make sure you’re aware of any travel, mask-wearing, testing, or quarantine procedures that differ from those in the United States. If you’re flying, the CDC advises that you check with your airline for any additional instructions or requirements.
Take Plenty of Masks
The present delta variant is surrounded by a lot of uncertainty. With COVID-19 infections are on the surge across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends universal masking in high-transmission areas, irrespective of vaccination status. Many businesses and establishments are now suggesting or mandating masks as a result of these new suggestions. TSA will also continue to mandate masks for public transportation, such as flights, trains, and buses, until January 2022. If you are planning about travelling for the weekend, ensure to bring mask and plenty of backups. When masks become dirty or “wet” after a significant period of time of use, they diminish in their capacity to safeguard.
Carry Hand Sanitizer or Disinfecting Wipes
We now know that the risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) from contaminated objects is relatively low—however, it’s not a bad idea to carry disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer on hand for your travels.
When travelling by airline or train, disinfectant wipes can be used to wipe off your seat and tray table before usage. Hand sanitizer is also useful when you’re on the go and don’t have access to soap or water to wash your hands. To ensure that the sanitizer is effective at killing germs, ensure it includes at least 60% alcohol.
Staying Safe during Celebration
Spend Time Outdoors Rather Than Indoors
With the delta variant of COVID-19 spreading rapidly across the country, many Americans may be seeking for a safer option to their Labor Day weekend activities. There are still lots of ways to spend Labor Day weekend with lower-risk activities, particularly if you or someone you trust is not vaccinated, isn’t eligible for the vaccination yet (i.e. children under the age of 12), or is immunocompromised.
When it comes to connecting with people outside of your household, the CDC continues to recommend outdoor events. Plus, if the weather is beautiful, you might want to spend the last few days of summer outside. If you can’t maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people while outside, the CDC recommends wearing a mask for added security.
Take a Mask With You Wherever You Travel
When travelling, you should be aware of local and state regulations, which may include mask mandates. Mask mandates or recommendations differ from state to state and even from company to company. According to the CDC’s recommendations for universal masking indoors, it’s advisable to have a mask or two with you wherever you go this weekend, especially if you’re going somewhere with a high transmission rate.
Take Your Vaccination Card If You Are Vaccinated
For indoor spaces such as restaurants and gyms, cities such as New York City and New Orleans have begun requiring evidence of COVID-19 vaccination. Always remember to take your card with you if you’re going somewhere that demands it. Unfortunately, because it’s slightly larger than the normal credit card, it’s not the most wallet-friendly option.
Thankfully, you may take a picture of or scan your COVID-19 immunization card and store it on your smartphone. There are plenty of handy (and fashionable) carrying cases available to safeguard your COVID-19 immunization card if you need to show physical proof.
Stay Home If You Feel Sick
While the message on COVID-19 mitigation changes as the pandemic progresses, one thing has been consistent: if you’re sick, stay at home. Experts had previously warned of specific symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath early in the pandemic. With much more knowledge of the virus and the emergence of the extremely contagious delta variant, symptoms such as fever, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, or sore throat can now appear and feel like the flu or even the common cold. Stay at home if you’re sick and consider getting a COVID-19 test.
Please do remember that your actions save lives. Stay safe and enjoy the Labor Day!