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Planning one last family outing before classes begin? Here’s how to travel safely

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 1:17 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 13, 2021 at 6:29 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Even though most Lowcountry K-12 students head back to school next week, health experts say you can still safely squeeze in one last family outing.

“My advice to families is, first and foremost, everyone who’s eligible to get vaccinated? Do so. In doing that, that is the biggest thing you can do to mitigate risk with COVID and protect your family,” Roper Express Care Dr. Melissa Ellis-Yarian said.

In terms of your destination, she said you should educate yourself on where you want to travel.

“What are the COVID cases looking like there? What’s going on with the Delta variant?” she said. “You just have to do a little bit of research and be smart... but it doesn’t mean that you can’t travel and keep your family safe and still have these wonderful experiences before your kiddos go back to school.”

Ellis-Yarian points out that COVID cases are continuing to increase in South Carolina, and the highly-contagious delta variant is dominating.

“In parts of the country where cases are surging, even vaccinated folks are going to have to start putting on a mask, because we still have this unvaccinated group in which COVID is spreading,” she said.

If you are traveling by air for fun or for work, expect to still be required to wear a mask from the airport to the plane.

“I mean, the reason we’re all getting on a flight right now and every single person has to wear a mask is not because of the vaccinated people. It’s because the unvaccinated people are not only at risk, but that is the group in which Coronavirus continues to survive, spread and mutate,” Ellis-Yarian said. “Everybody’s going to have to mask until we can get those vaccination rates up.”

The CDC says in general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings such as at the beach.

But, the agency posted in updated guidance on June 29.

“If you are not fully vaccinated and aged 2 or older, you should wear a mask in indoor public places,” it stated.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says about 45% of eligible South Carolinians are currently fully vaccinated against COVID.

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