CDC and local health officials have warning about Spring Break travel

Families eyeing up spring and summer vacations as restrictions are eased

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It’s the time of the year when many of us think about taking a Spring Break, getting out of town for maybe a trip to the beach or the mountains, but with COVID-19 still here, is that a good idea? Health officials are warning that it isn’t, yet air travel has risen sharply the last few days and crowds are packing some popular Spring Break spots.

“We are just starting to turn the corner, the data are moving in the right direction, but where this goes is dependent on whether we all do what must be done to protect ourselves and others,’ the CDC warned.

Places like Hawaii and Florida are busy once again, and closer to home, there are folks planning to visit the Myrtle Beach area. Even so, health officials say they are concerned that for many, Spring Break will mean a break from wearing a mask and social distancing, and they’re encouraging folks not to abandon protocols just when it appears things are going in the right direction.

“Our first advice would be not to do Spring Break. There’s still concern that you get a large group together and they’re not vaccinated and they’re not practicing the three W’s it will definitely increase our chances of having a fourth wave of COVID,” said Amy Smith of the Rowan County Health Department.

Air travel is at a pandemic high with one million travelers over each of the last five days. Federal health officials advised against plane travel during the 2020 holiday season, and are discouraging it again now, warning that spikes in travel lead to spikes in cases.

Some states are encouraging Spring Break travel. Tennessee’s governor put out a tweet inviting spring breakers, even as the CDC warns against it.

So if the signs of spring are making you yearn for warmer climates, sand and surf, Amy Smith of the Rowan Health Department would like to suggest an alternative.

“If you’ve got to go somewhere, visit someone you haven’t seen that’s been vaccinated or stay within your family and don’t venture out,” Smith said.

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