After CDC warning, UCSF doctor explains how Labor Day travel can still be safe and fun

In addition to other helpful information, Dr. Gandhi says studies show planes don't cause super spreader events.

Dustin Dorsey Image
Friday, September 3, 2021
UCSF doctor eases Labor Day travel fears after CDC warning
Despite warnings from the CDC, UCSF Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Monica Gandhi believes travel can be safe for vaccinated people.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Despite warnings from the CDC, people across the country are still expected to travel for the Labor Day weekend.

Many fear this could lead to more COVID-19 cases, but a Bay Area doctor believes there are safe ways to travel if you are vaccinated.

RELATED: CDC issues travel warning ahead of Labor Day weekend, passengers at SFO weigh risks

Holiday weekends are always busy at Mineta San Jose International Airport.

People coming, people going, hugs goodbye and hugs hello.

Many more travelers were on the move for Labor Day weekend compared to 2020.

VIDEO: Honolulu to require vaccine or negative COVID-19 test at most indoor businesses

The indoor mandate is aimed to avoid a surge in highly-contagious Delta variant cases. Honolulu joins San Francisco and New York in similar rules.

It's something San Jose resident John Henry wished he considered before traveling with friends recently.

He shared his COVID results with his Twitch stream when he returned.

"We took precaution, we didn't take it lightly, we're all vaccinated and it still came to us," Henry said. "I don't want everyone feeling what I felt, so I've already warned my friends to not take it like it's a joke because it's not."

RELATED: European Union recommends reinstating COVID-related restrictions on US tourists

Catching COVID while traveling can obviously still be a risk, but UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Monica Gandhi says travel can be pretty safe, if you are vaccinated.

"The CDC messaging has terrified the vaccinated, the unvaccinated adults should be terrified," Dr. Gandhi said. "Travel is actually, depending on what you do, quite safe."

Dr. Gandhi says studies show planes don't cause super spreader events.

She suggests avoiding travelling to places with high COVID numbers and follow these simple steps to protect yourself while on the move.

RELATED: Ahead of this weekend's travel, the CDC urged unvaccinated people to not travel and suggested vaccinated do the same.

"It is really about the mitigation procedures, opening the ventilation vent, keeping the mask, different than a simple cloth mask, go stronger.," Dr. Gandhi said. "You're going to be in a mixed place, so inside, wear a mask and outside is safe. Outside has always been safe, even with the Delta."

In addition to the steps to be safe, Dr. Gandhi's number one advice for those traveling is to have fun.

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