Health experts provide guidelines for Labor Day travel, celebrations

Published: Sep. 4, 2021 at 3:38 PM CDT
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QUAD CITIES (KWQC) - Many Americans are still traveling this Labor Day weekend despite COVID-19 cases surging. On Friday, the TSA recorded more than 2 million people passing through security checkpoints.

As many plan to celebrate the long weekend with family and friends, health experts are laying out guidelines for Labor Day.

In a White House Press Briefing on August 31, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky urged Americans to take precautions.

“First and foremost, if you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling,” Walensky said.

Augustana epidemiologist Rebecca Heick says travelers should seriously consider how to celebrate safely.

“This is really a time to stop and think about where we gather, who we gather with, and what precautions can be taken to be sure that everyone comes through that gathering safe and healthy when it’s over. Perhaps there are young children in those groups you are going to gather with that are back to school and not old enough to be vaccinated. Immune compromised individuals. Older family members,” Heick says.

If you do gather for Labor Day, Heick recommends celebrating outdoors and taking more precautions if distancing isn’t an option.

“If you really feel like you need to gather indoors this weekend seriously consider asking everyone to be masked up while they are indoors together just to make sure when you are introducing more households you aren’t bringing an increased risk of infection,” says Heick.

As thousands of people travel this weekend health officials urge vaccination to prevent another holiday spike.

“I know we all want to get back to normal. Normal school, normal Friday nights out, normal vacations, just normal. Vaccination is how we do that,” says Janet Hill with the Rock Island County Health Department.

As of Friday, September 3, the Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting over 30 thousand new cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days. Iowa is reporting 7,500 new cases in the last week.

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