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While university travel remains restricted, the holidays are approaching and it is important to remain vigilant if you must travel for personal reasons. We asked Dr. Jane Torgerson, medical director of TCU’s Brown-Lupton Health Center, for her top 5 tips for traveling safely during COVID-19, based on current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

  1. Get your flu shot — now. October is an excellent time to get your flu shot as it gives your body time to develop an immune response before flu season hits. Because we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is concern in the medical community that a heavy flu season could overwhelm the health care system and stretch testing capacity — not to mention the increased risk of catching flu and COVID-19 at the same time.
  1. Whether on campus, back at home or somewhere in between, continue to diligently follow safety protocols — wear your face covering (bring extras!), stay 6 feet apart from anyone not in your household, wash your hands often (or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol), avoid being around anyone who is sick and don’t touch your face.
  1. Check state, territorial, tribal and local health departments for possible travel restrictions, and remember that 2020 is the year of being flexible, as things can quickly change and alter even the best laid plans.
  1. Avoid higher risk activities, such as destinations with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice; cruise ships; large social gatherings like weddings, funerals or parties; mass gatherings like sporting events, concerts or parades; and crowded bars, restaurants or movie theaters.
  1. Remember that you may be exposed to COVID-19 during your travels so stay on high alert. Self-monitor for fever and other symptoms. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, there’s a possibility you could have COVID-19 and spread it to others — including those most vulnerable. Self-quarantining for 14 days after your last possible exposure could help keep your family, friends and community safe.

BONUS: If you are hosting an event, plan outdoor activities if possible. For indoor events, limit guests and increase ventilation by opening windows or doors. Supply extra masks and hand sanitizer. Go with single-use paper towels over hand towels, and provide touchless garbage cans. Limit the number of people handling and serving food. Arrange seating to allow for social distancing. Use grab-and-go meal options rather than self-serve buffets. And instead of shaking hands, hugging or doing elbow bumps, just wave and offer a verbal greeting — like GO FROGS! Also consider asking guests to avoid contact with people outside of their households for 14 days before getting together.

Check out these CDC tips for hosting gatherings.

CDC tips for travel

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