COVID Communication: November 22, 2021

Travel Safely for Thanksgiving

Officials estimate that travel for Thanksgiving could approach pre-pandemic levels this year. As you depart for the break, please keep this advice from the Mayo Clinic in mind for reducing your COVID-19 risk while you travel as well as when you return to campus.

During Travel

The Transportation Security Administration requires passengers to wear a face mask on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation, even if fully vaccinated. The mask must fit snugly and cover both your mouth and nose. If you’re fully vaccinated and you’re in an area with a high number of new COVID-19 cases in the last week, wear a mask indoors and outdoors in crowded areas or when you’re in close contact with unvaccinated people.

If you haven’t had the COVID-19 vaccine or if you have a condition that weakens your immune system, follow these steps to protect yourself and others when you travel:

  • Maintain a distance of 6 feet (2 meters) between you and others as much as possible.
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Limit contact with frequently touched surfaces, such as handrails, elevator buttons and kiosks. If you must touch these surfaces, use hand sanitizer or wash your hands afterward.
  • Wear a face mask in indoor public spaces and outdoors where there is a high risk of COVID-19 transmissions, such as at a crowded event or large gathering. Further mask guidance differs depending on whether you are fully vaccinated or unvaccinated.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean your hands often. It's especially important after going to the bathroom, before eating and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • If soap and water aren't available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub your hands together until they feel dry.
  • Refrain from eating or drinking on public transportation. That way you can keep your mask on the whole time.

After Travel

When returning from travel, it’s a good idea to keep social circles small and self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for at least three to five days after you return in the event of exposure. Get tested if you develop symptoms. If you are notified during your travels that you are a close contact to a positive case, follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations based on whether you are vaccinated, unvaccinated or recently recovered from COVID-19.

Have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving!

Be well,

COVID Response Team