How to plan a COVID-safe summer vacation

What you need to know before you travel with test positivity rates rising in Alabama.
What you need to know before you travel with test positivity rates rising in Alabama.(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 7:09 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2022 at 9:26 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama and much of the nation have seen a big dip in COVID-19 cases over the last few months, but recently our numbers have started going back up.

The state added more than 1,200 new cases in a day. This is the largest increase we’ve seen since February. The percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive is up to 17.2%. That’s more than double in the last few weeks. And with more people traveling for summer experts want you to make sure you stay safe.

Plans are being made by people around the state to hit the road for the summer. While most of us would like to think COVID-19 is in the rear view mirror, it’s not according to Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health.

“We certainly have COVID still going around, said Landers. “People can still be hospitalized. People can still die. So let’s don’t let our guard down.”

She says she continues to be less worried about the transmission of COVID-19 during outside activities as opposed to crowded arenas or restaurants.

“I am very concerned that people are so tired of COVID, that they’re just abandoning all measures of protection,” said Landers.

If you and your family are headed out of town Landers recommends you check the community level of your destination.

“I tell people we have to remember about community transmission is that it can change. And if you look at your individual county, in terms of community transmission, or where you travel, then that really should guide you in terms of your level of personal protection,” said Landers.

She says if you are in a situation where the area you are in has moderate to high transmission levels, and you have underlying health problems, consider wearing a mask and stay up to date on your vaccines. And it is also important that if you start to experience symptoms you don’t ignore them.

“If you have these symptoms don’t automatically attribute those to spring and summer allergies. If you have symptoms, go ahead and test for COVID,” said Landers.

Next week the FDA will review the vaccine for children six months and above. Landers says ADPH will be ready for that response if approved. She urges parents to talk with their child’s pediatrician.

Right now more than 2.3 million Alabamians have been fully vaccinated. That’s about 47% of the state.

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