Young Woman traveling with her baby wearing a face mask during the COVID-19
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Here’s What The CDC Recommends For Labor Day Travel

At the top of the CDC’s travel checklist? A Covid-19 vaccine.

If you or members of your family are unvaccinated, the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging you not to travel over the Labor Day holiday. The agency’s recommendation comes as Covid-19 related hospital admissions for all age groups under 50 rose to the highest levels seen since the start of the pandemic. But even fully vaccinated individuals are being asked to carefully weigh the health risks of traveling and are being urged to take every precaution available if they decide to travel this holiday weekend.

“First and foremost, if you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday during a White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing.

As of Aug. 24, the CDC reported the seven-day daily average for new Covid-19 hospital admissions was 12,297 admissions per day, a jump of 5.7% from the week prior. According to the CDC, new hospital admissions of confirmed Covid-19 patients nationwide are currently at the highest levels seen since the beginning of the pandemic for all age groups under 50. What’s more, the CDC has reported that hospital admissions are at their highest levels in Hawaii, Kentucky, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

While the CDC has urged vaccinated individuals to carefully consider any Labor Day weekend travel plans, they’ve stopped short of recommending fully vaccinated people avoid traveling altogether. “We have actually articulated that people who are fully vaccinated and who are wearing masks can travel,” Walensky said Tuesday. “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.”

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Although Labor Day weekend is traditionally a popular time for family travel with many viewing it as the last summer hurrah, Bloomberg has reported airline bookings for the holiday were down 15% this year compared to 2019.

But for those who do decide to travel this Labor Day weekend, public health officials have recommended taking precautions that included testing before and after travel, wearing face masks, frequent hand washing, monitoring yourself for symptoms, and self quarantining for at least seven days after your trip whether you experience symptoms or not. Health officials also urged travelers to put “getting vaccinated” at the top of their travel checklist.

“As people across the country prepare for Labor Day weekend, it’s critical that being vaccinated is part of their pre-holiday checklist,” White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said Tuesday. “Getting vaccinated is free. It’s easy and convenient. It’s safe and effective. And it’s never, ever been more important.”

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.