As Virginia slowly reopens, what travelers should consider ahead of Memorial Day weekend


"Remember that the virus is still out there"

(WRIC/WFXR) — As Virginia gradually reopens, Memorial Day weekend could look like past years even as the continued threat of coronavirus lingers.

The three-day weekend usually comes with a lot of travel, but how can you stay safe while on the go? Dr. Danny Avula — the director of the Richmond City and Henrico Health Districts — offered some advice on how Virginians should approach the state’s first holiday weekend since some stay-at-home restrictions were lifted.

“Remember that the virus is still out there and so the most important thing is that we’re thinking about not only how we keep ourselves safe, but really how we keep our entire community safe,” Dr. Avula says.

Dr. Avula adds that if Virginians insist on traveling, they should do so by car rather than plane because traveling by car makes it easier to control with whom you come in contact.

“There’s some risk there because the longer you’re in a closed space, an enclosed circulation, the higher risk you’re putting yourself and others in the vehicle,” Dr. Avula cautions. “Just because of the exposure to potential viral droplets.”

Citizens should still follow social distancing guidelines, sanitize surfaces, and continue to wash their hands as frequently as possible. Moreover, locals should still wear a mask.

However, no matter what precautions Virginians take, Dr. Avula says those who are in the high-risk territory for COVID-19 should stay home.

“Particularly if you have underlying conditions weigh the risk of exposure, whether you’re going to the grocery store or whether you’re taking a vacation,” Dr. Avula says. “Right now, we’re seeing COVID-19 spread in all 50 states and, to the degree that all of us can, avoiding that public interaction is going to be the safest thing.”

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