Despite pleas from local officials and the CDC to stay put this Thanksgiving holiday, many people are still hitting the roads, and experts say there are some things travelers can do to stay safe on the way.
According to AAA, 50 million Americans plan to travel to the Thanksgiving table this year. While the estimate is down 10% over last year, the agency said more people plan to travel by car due to the pandemic.
“I think people are driving in large numbers because of the fact that they can control the environment in their own vehicle,” said Mary Maguire, director of public and legislative affairs for AAA Northeast.
Driving does not mean there is no chance of travelers catching the virus, which is why AAA is putting out a number of tips for how people can stay safe. Experts say limiting your stops will help limit your exposure.
“Make sure that you have filled your gas tank in advance then go home and wash your hands. Pack snacks and water so you do not have to stop for food,” Maguire said.
Dr. Paul Sax, the clinical director of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said spending a short amount of time at a rest stop is considered low-risk, but people should limit who is in their car.
“What I would like to encourage people to avoid is carpooling. There have been outbreaks linked to carpooling so just stay with your family. Travel only with the people you live with,” Sax said.