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CDC recommends extra safety measures be taken following Thanksgiving travel

Holiday travelers walk to check-in at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. Photo credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Even if you feel fine after a long Thanksgiving weekend with family, the Centers for Disease Control recommends taking action this week to keep those you care about safe from the coronavirus.  They say even if you feel fine now, there’s still the possibility that you could have been exposed at some point during your Thanksgiving travel. 

“If your family traveled, you have to assume that you were exposed and you became infected,” White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx told CBS on Sunday.

She also recommended those older than 65 get tested immediately if they develop any symptoms.

The TSA screened more than 1.17 million people on Sunday which is the highest number seen since March.

After Thanksgiving travel

The CDC says that regardless of where you traveled or what you did while you were there, there are a few things everyone can do to protect others from getting COVID-19.

  • When you are around others, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you, particularly in crowded areas. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when you are in shared spaces outside of your home, including when using public transportation.
  • If there are people in the household who did not travel with you, wear a mask and ask everyone in the household to wear masks 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 your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19, and take your temperature if you feel sick.

You are not required to quarantine if you traveled out of state and came back into Utah, but other states and U.S. cities may require 14-day quarantine after traveling from certain states that are hotbeds for the virus.

If you know you were exposed to the virus, the CDC says to stay at home for 14 days after your last contact with someone who has COVID-19.  They say to stay away from others and watch for COVID-19 symptoms.

They suggest getting tested for COVID-19 and stop travel until 14 days after your last possible exposure and let others you may have been in contact with know immediately.


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States