COVID-19 impacting holiday travel plans and get togethers

Posted at 5:01 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 07:23:15-05

Talking to people at the Laurel rest stop off I-95, many people told WMAR-2 News COVID-19 has them rethinking holiday travel plans and getting together.

This comes as Governor Hogan put in place a travel advisory for out-of-state travel. According the advisory, people are encouraged to avoid non-essential travel to a state that has a positivity rate of 10%.

"My wife and I now live alone and we were going to have some family over but we decided to be on the safe side," said Fallston resident, Jesse Coleman. "My wife has asthma and I’m elderly, as you can probably see, and we just don’t want to take the risk."

That means Coleman's Thanksgiving will be a quiet one, a party of two.

Anne Egger said she won't be traveling this holiday season.

"I’m certainly keeping close to home and within a bubble of people that I spend time with," she said. "I’m not really planning on anything for Christmas or Thanksgiving."

The change in travel plans comes as Governor Larry Hogan said Maryland's coronavirus numbers are moving in the wrong direction.

Doctors and health professionals with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said its important to minimize exposure this holiday season.

"Some people are much more risk averse than others. Others are more risk tolerant," said Dr. Amesh Adalja. "That’s the first thing to think about when you’re thinking about a Thanksgiving get together. What is the risk tolerance of everybody going there? Are there people with high risk factors or severe disease? Is everyone on the same page before you go because you know in this pandemic, with community spread going away it is that no activity he’s going to be without risk you cannot get the rest down to zero."

If people do plan to gather for the holidays, they're encouraged to plan ahead and be mindful of high contact zones.

"Traveling is a whole experience, even just getting to and from the airport in whatever transportation you choose to take," said Keri Althoff, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "It’s not just what’s going on in the airplane but it’s the whole experience. So, doing everything you can to reduce your exposure if you do choose to travel, or given the quickest acceleration of new cases in the country right now, choosing to stay home may be the best option."

People who plan to stay home are encouraged to celebrate with people in their immediate household.

"While it’s sad and it’s not what we are used to, it’s important for us to stay safe," said Debbie Glenn.

Here is a list of states on the travel advisory:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

To see/read the governors amended order click here.