Infection preventionist at SMJH offers safety tips on remaining summer travel

Sentara Martha Jefferson offers travel safety trips

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Anyone planning a summer vacation should take extra precautions this year says an infection preventionist at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital.

Planning a summer getaway usually includes researching the best restaurants or attractions, but Andrea Chapman says this year, the research should include extra steps: “It’s important to be educated about how coronavirus might be spreading in the community or communities that you’re going to be traveling to,” she said.

Chapman recommends visiting the state or local health department’s website of the place you plan on visiting and hone in on certain metrics.

“If the information is available, look at the percent positivity - so of people who were tested, what percentage of tests are coming back positive,” she said.

Chapman says higher numbers indicate that there’s more virus in the community, so it may be a good idea to avoid travel to those areas.

“Something over 10% is certainly something to be looking at and concerned about,” she said.

Jake Mclean has two young children, and one on the way. He says he won’t be traveling again for a while, but his family took extra precautions on their Virginia Beach vacation earlier in the summer.

“We did take out and made food at the house,” the Charlottesville man said. “We did attempt to go out to eat one night, but no one was paying attention to the 50% capacity rules or distancing measures, so we actually got a little nervous and left the restaurant.”

Jillian Lum says her family usually heads to South Carolina, but will be going up to Maine this year.

“We’ve decided to drive, and we’re going to pack as much food as we can for snacks, and then we can limit our stops,” she said. “It’s a pretty rural area, which is ideal.”

While many might be afraid to travel due to physical health concerns, there are plenty of mental health benefits you can gain from a nice, relaxing vacation, just make sure to take precautions.

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