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What to do after traveling for Thanksgiving during the coronavirus pandemic

A traveler walks with her luggage across a nearly empty skyway bridge at Logan Airport on Nov. 20 in Boston.
Michael Dwyer, Associated Press

So you traveled for Thanksgiving amid the coronavirus pandemic and it’s time to return home. What should you do next?

It’s possible you were exposed to COVID-19 on your trip, even if you feel fine and don’t have symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking these actions after traveling:

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from anyone who didn’t travel with you.
  • Wear a mask in shared spaces outside your home.
  • If others in your household didn’t travel with you, everyone should wear a mask in shared spaces inside your home for 14 days after travel.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and take your temperature if you feel sick. If you develop symptoms, contact your health care provider.

Do I need to quarantine?

Utah doesn’t currently have any COVID-19 travel restrictions, so visitors and those returning home after traveling are not required to quarantine, according to travel guidance on the state’s coronavirus website.

However, several other U.S. states and cities do require a 14-day quarantine after traveling from certain areas. Check the websites of the places you’re traveling to and from for more information.

Should I get tested?

Only those who have COVID-19 symptoms can currently get tested through the Utah Department of Health, although some private companies may offer testing, according to the state’s travel guidance.

Other states may offer testing to travelers and require proof of a negative COVID-19 test or a mandatory quarantine upon arrival.

Check the websites of the areas you’re traveling to and from for more information.

What should I do if I was exposed to the virus?

If you were exposed to COVID-19 during a holiday gathering, the CDC recommends these actions:

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with someone who has COVID-19.
  • Stay away from others, especially those at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Watch for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Consider getting tested for COVID-19.
  • Don’t travel until 14 days after your last possible exposure.

If you develop symptoms of or test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of an event, let the host and other attendees know immediately.