TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - The holiday season usually means traveling to see family. This year, the CDC is urging you to stay put and limit the spread.
News 10 spoke with the Vigo County Health Department on Thursday. Officials referenced their recommendations if you do decide to travel home for the holidays.
The no-travel advice from health officials echoes the recommendations for Thanksgiving from the CDC. However many Americans still ignored it. Health educator at the Vigo County Health Department Roni Elder gave updated guidelines as far as testing and traveling go during the holiday season.
Again, the number one recommendation from health officials is to stay put and avoid large gatherings. If you still do decide to travel, the CDC is advising getting a COVID-19 test one to three days before you do so and again three to five days afterward.
Elder says the important thing to remember is that even in doing this, testing is just a snapshot. Some kinds of testing don’t do as well testing asymptotic or pre-symptomatic people. The best course of action still is to stay isolated.
“Traveling always amps up your risk for getting COVID-19,” Elder said, “If you’re traveling anywhere, whether it be for vacation, holidays, or spending time with friends and family, you’re going to increase your risk of getting COVID-19 just because you’re outside of your normal surroundings and you’re going around a lot more people.”
Elder also spoke about the ramifications of traveling during Thanksgiving here in Vigo county a week later.
“We are already, through contact tracing, finding out that people are exposing people through thanksgiving or some people are already starting to test from thanksgiving and getting positives,” Elder said.
As of Thursday morning, Elder says there are over 6,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Vigo County. 162 of those cases are new as of Thursday.
This could be a result of back logged cases through the states testing lab which closed for the holiday weekend. However, elder says throughout this week and next the numbers will give them a good idea of the impact that holiday travel has had.
“Once we start to get those numbers in and we see how many we actually got from Thanksgiving, I think that will be a huge factor going into Christmas,” Elder explained, “We’re optimistic but we’re also prepared for the worst with numbers.”
“At this time, it’s the same as Thanksgiving,”Elder concluded, “We don’t really recommend you traveling or going around big holiday gatherings, but we’ll see how the numbers do.”