CDC director: Unvaccinated Americans should avoid Labor Day travel
The CDC director recommends that vaccinated people wear masks while they travel over the Labor Day holiday, but urges the unvaccinated to stay home.
Staff video, USA TODAY
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans to reconsider their Labor Day travel plans, particularly if they aren’t vaccinated, amid one of the worst COVID-19 surges of the pandemic.
“First and foremost, if you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing Tuesday.
The CDC recommends people who aren’t fully vaccinated hold off on traveling “because travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.” Additionally, anyone who is sick with coronavirus symptoms is urged to stay home, even if they’ve been vaccinated.
The CDC has said fully vaccinated Americans can travel while wearing face masks.
“Although given where we are with disease transmission right now, we would say that people need to take … these risks into their own consideration as they think about traveling,” Walensky said.
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Nearly 4.22 million new COVID-19 cases were reported in the U.S. in August, as the highly contagious delta variant rapidly spread, according to USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. Florida and Hawaii were among states reporting their worst month of cases ever.
Across the nation, there were 26,805 COVID-19 deaths, with more deaths reported the last week of August than in the entire month of July, the analysis shows.
“As people across the country prepare for Labor Day weekend, it’s critical that being vaccinated is part of their pre-holiday checklist,” said Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 Response coordinator.
The CDC’s travel recommendations apply to both domestic and international trips. Additionally, the CDC and State Department have identified destinations Americans should avoid visiting. This week, those recommendations included reconsidering travel to Canada and avoiding travel to Puerto Rico, due to COVID risks.
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Contributing: Mike Stucka, Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY
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