Manage summer trips and celebrations safely with advice from Multicare Indigo Urgent Care
SSummer is here and with it, many occasions for gatherings and celebrations. The period between Father’s Day and Labor Day is also typically peak tourist season, but the global pandemic is adding a layer of complexity to any travel plans. To ensure a pleasant and safe summer, MultiCare Indigo emergency care Director of Clinical Innovation and Excellence, Stephanie Cowan, recommends that people follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) direction and use common sense. Traveling? Here are some tips for keeping your family healthy while enjoying the summer of 2021.
Avoid traveling to high risk destinations. Because the situation is fluid, check the CDC COVID-19 Travel Recommendations Webpage by Destination to find out the risk level of your planned visit. “Continue to monitor trends to determine how safe it is to travel in a given area,” says Cowan. “The landscape is changing rapidly. We recommend that people get vaccinated, complete their streak, and then wait two weeks before traveling to be safe. “
Do your homework. Requirements such as proof of vaccination or COVID-19 test results vary depending on where you’re going, so it’s a good idea to do your research ahead of time. In the United States, Hawaii and Alaska still require testing to visit. Some countries and states require proof of a negative test result within the past five days, others within the past 72 hours. “If you’ve tested positive in the past 90 days, we’re not retesting you, we’re just writing you a letter,” Cowan explains. The type of test required may also vary. Some may request RT-PCR results while others will allow different test methods.
Use best practices in hygiene and social distancing. While traveling, it is important to maintain strict hygiene protocols such as frequent hand washing and wearing a mask at airports. “We know that travel increases your chances of spreading COVID,” Cowan notes. “We want to make sure that people always keep a social distance. If you do get sick, go into quarantine.
Stay home if you are not feeling well. Those who stay at home may want to get together with friends and family for vacations like July 4th or simple barbecues. If you haven’t been tested and are showing symptoms, use caution, advises Cowan. “If you have breathing problems, like a cough or a sore throat, don’t go outside. You want to keep everyone around you safe. On the flip side, if you’ve been vaccinated, you can now reunite with other unmasked people, according to the most recent guidelines released by the CDC.
Go outside. Outdoor events are generally safer than indoor events. Fortunately, Washington state is more hospitable than many parts of the country during the summer months for outdoor gatherings. When planning time with loved ones, consider camping, hiking, or having a patio party rather than spending time indoors where reduced ventilation means a higher likelihood of the spread of disease. disease
Avoid the crowds. Whatever the occasion, when it comes to the number of guests, less is more, according to the CDC. The more households there are in the mix, the greater the risk of contracting COVID-19. Again, keep this in mind when thinking about what summer activities you want to plan.
Do not serve buffets or finger foods. Deciding what food to serve and how to serve it can also be a challenge. Buffet meals or common dips / snacks such as chips or finger foods increase the possibility of cross-contamination. “If you can eliminate that, that’ll be better,” Cowan says. “In Washington state, we’ve seen our rates peak, but we haven’t seen them go down yet. We always want to be very vigilant so as not to take unnecessary risks.
Get tested before you travel. Many people visit Indigo emergency care clinics to get tested for COVID-19 before traveling both because it is necessary at their destination and because they are visiting people considered vulnerable. “We see a lot of people going to visit at-risk family members and want to get tested before they leave, even though it’s not a warrant,” Cowan explains. “Maybe they have a runny nose and want to make sure it’s just allergies.”
If you want a travel test and you have no symptoms or recent exposure to COVID, you can use Indigo Online Care Video Tour consult a health professional. They will then direct you to a nearby Indigo clinic for a test.
As people get vaccinated the guidelines may change, but in the meantime it is important to be careful, especially if you plan to travel. “We’re in this emerging place that’s so exciting where we can maybe get together safely,” says Cowan. “It’s going to be a lot more comfortable when we see our rates come down rather than just stabilize. This will give the impression that we are going in the right direction.
MultiCare Indigo Urgent Care has convenient locations in Laced, Olympia and Tumwater. Check their website for the latest information on COVID testing before you come. For the treatment of other minor illnesses and injuries, book an appointment online or simply make an appointment for care.