With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the rise and new omicron subvariants forming, should you consider changing your summer plans?
Driving the news: COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are about five times higher than they were this time last year, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What they’re saying: When asked whether Americans should cancel their travel plans for the summer, CNN’s medical analyst, Dr. Leana Wen, said, “Not necessarily.”
- Wen stated that there are several factors travelers could look at while making plans, including their individual medical risk, whether they have recently been infected with COVID-19 and whether they have a plan for if they become infected while traveling, according to CNN.
Dr. Tim Lahey, an infectious disease expert at the UVM Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont, is on the fence about traveling this summer, saying earlier this year, “... part of me is tempted to say don’t make plans. And another part of me sort of said, ‘Hey, live your life. We can’t all live in a box for the rest of our lives,’” reports WCAX-TV.
- Lahey went on to say that past summers have prepared us, saying, “I think the last couple of years has taught us to expect uncertainty but also to figure out how to work around it,” per WCAX-TV.
- In a survey conducted by Forbes last month, 50% of travelers surveyed said COVID-19 has affected their summer plans in some way.
- Details: International travel could increase your risk of catching new COVID-19 omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, as they’ve been detected in over 10 countries, including the U.S., per Deseret News.
- However, airlines stopped requiring face masks in April, USA Today reported.
The bottom line: While many travel restrictions have been lifted this past year, it’s important to keep all safety and health risks in mind when planning trips this summer.