Johns Hopkins professor warns about traveling

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 17:52:43-04

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — A Johns Hopkins professor recommends rescheduling travel if you can, saying we are still in the thick of this virus.

"We’re in the soup again and we won’t know how deep in the soup we are for another 2-4 weeks," said Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Professor Emeritus William Greenough.

With things reopening, he doesn’t want people to get a false sense of security. The coronavirus is still serious.

"We are going to have a difficult summer. It didn’t go away with the warm weather as we were told it would," said Greenough.

He doesn’t oppose reopening things, but said it needs to be done thoughtfully and safely, with masks, social distancing and targeted testing and contact tracing.

Ideally, he would like to see businesses contract companies for rapid on site testing.

"I would love to see a good company, like Merrill Lynch or IBM, say 'Look, we've made a contract with XYZ (a testing company). We will test on site all our employees coming to the building on day one and anyone who is positive stays home for 2 weeks. No negotiation. And then we will continue to have that on site testing so anyone with a sniffle or sore throat will go get tested'," said Greenough.

As for travel, he said it’s high risk, especially with the escalation of cases happening in certain states.

"You’d probably be safer to travel to Hong Kong or Singapore or somewhere that has control of the epidemic," said Greenough.

He said if you’re set on traveling inside the US, driving and camping are the safest. If you want to board a plane or take a cruise, find an agent that can get answers for you about safety precautions.

"Could the travel agent find out from the cruise if they are testing all the people who want to go and are excluding people who are coronavirus positive?" said Greenough. "And that the cruise ship would have capacity to test if anyone gets ill?"

Greenough recommends only using transportation that tests passengers before boarding, whether its a bus, train or airline and thinks airports should institute testing at security check points.

"That would be more difficult and would cause delays at the airport but it’s not out of reach entirely," said Greenough.

He also recommends making sure passengers are seated at least 6 feet apart and the travel company adheres to the CDC guidelines for vehicle cleaning.