Patients seeking travel advice from doctors this summer

Patients seeking travel advice from doctors this summer

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic have been getting lots of questions from patients about the safety of their summer plans.

Patients seeking travel advice from doctors this summer

“This is the hot button issue, not just in our offices and workplaces, but also in our personal lives and on the internet. People want to know is it safe to travel,” said Dr. Nikita Desai, with Cleveland Clinic Pulmonary Critical Care.

“No matter what I’m seeing them for, everybody wants to talk about this,” Desai said.

What are you thoughts on that vacation you had planned? Will you go? Or cancel? I'm speaking with a Cleveland Clinic doctor about what is safe now when it comes to getaways.

Posted by Jen Picciano Cleveland 19 on Monday, June 22, 2020

If you’re planning to fly, she says wear a mask, and don’t take yours off, to eat for example, at the same time as your seat mate if they’re a stranger.

“I think that’s very important because an airplane is one of those places where you’ll be in close contact, sharing respiratory droplets, with people in a very close proximity in a relatively or poorly ventilated place,” she said.

She recommends masks at amusement parks as well because it is more difficult to stay distant, in line for a roller coaster for example.

If you’re taking a road trip, pack lots of snacks to limit stops and don’t linger in places where you have to stop for gas, or a restroom break.

“The longer you spend in a closed environment, exchanging respiratory droplets with strangers, that’s really what’s going to increase your risk,” Desai said.

Outdoor pools are better than indoor ones, she said, for better ventilation and opportunity to space out.

If you want to camping, Desai said don’t set up too close to others or share common areas like picnic tables.

“Outdoor vacations are a great idea for this summer. Beaches certainly fall into that category of what might be a little bit safer, but I do want to caution people that social distancing is still going to be appropriate. this is not the time to rent a beach house with 50 of your closest friends,” she said. “It’s an OK time to take a road trip to a beach and go with your immediate family. And make sure that you are staying further away from people who are not members of your immediate household.”

People who are hoping or planning to travel should talk to their doctors about specific recommendations for their condition, their means of travel and their destination.

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