TULSA, Okla. — As the official start of spring break for Green Country schools starts today, many people's travel plans have been disrupted by COVID-19 concerns.
Many are opting to stay home and practice social distancing instead of going somewhere.
About 20 percent of adults who were surveyed by Skift Research between March 6 and 8 said they canceled their previous travel plans.
According to Tulsa International Airport (TIA) officials, they expect travel to be down by 5 percent during spring break due to a decrease in airline capacity year after year.
While there is concern among travelers over the coronavirus, many are taking precautions before flying.
"I brought some hand sanitizer with me, and you might do a fist pump instead of a handshake, but once we get to vacation, we're going to be on our own anyway," says Matt Broge, who flew out of TIA for spring break.
Many airlines are waiving fees for passengers who wish to change their flights. They've also had to cut their flights due to less demands and travel bans.
Meanwhile at TIA, cleaning measures have increased since last week, such as hand sanitizing stations and hand wipes at information desk to prevent the spread of the virus.
At the time this article was written, the latest numbers show there are 3,774 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University.
In Oklahoma, there are eight confirmed cases with 12 tests awaiting results.
If you're unsure about whether to travel within the U.S., here are some things to consider per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- If COVID-19 is spreading at your destination, but not where you live, you may be at higher risk of exposure if you travel there.
- Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded settings, particularly closed-in settings with little air circulation, if there are people in the crowd who are sick. This may include settings such as conferences, public events (like concerts and sporting events), religious gatherings, public spaces (like movie theatres and shopping malls), and public transportation (like buses, metro, trains).
- People at higher risk for severe disease are older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes). CDC recommends that travelers at higher risk for COVID-19 complications avoid all cruise travel and nonessential air travel.
- If you have close contact with someone with COVID-19 during travel, you may be asked to stay home to self-monitor and avoid contact with others for up to 14 days after travel. If you become sick with COVID-19, you may be unable to go to work or school until you’re considered noninfectious. You will be asked to avoid contact with others (including being in public places) during this period of infectiousness.
- If you get sick with COVID-19 upon your return from travel, your household contacts may be at risk of infection. Household contacts who are older adults or have severe chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- Consider the risk of passing COVID-19 to others during travel, particularly if you will be in close contact with people who are older adults or have severe chronic health condition These people are at higher risk of getting very sick. If your symptoms are mild or you don’t have a fever, you may not realize you are infectious.
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