Gov. Lamont, CDC urge travelers to follow COVID protocols as restrictions loosen nationwide


WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — The CDC put out a travel warning asking people, especially students on spring break, to be extra careful, and follow social distancing guidelines. Now, Governor Ned Lamont is asking state residents to take heed of those warnings, as a state of emergency was recently declared in Miami. This comes several days after Lamont loosened his travel advisory in CT.

So if the parking garage at Bradley International Airport is any indication of how many people are traveling, we had to go all the way to the fourth level Monday night to find a single spot. Flights had to be added, and travelers we talked to said the flights are also more full.

“I have to fly every month, it’s starting to pick up again. More people are trying to travel, so the planes are becoming crowded again more,” said Mary Kate O’Donnell of Windsor Locks.

Travelers are noticing it as well as the CDC, travel is up, especially as people start to get vaccinated.

“Watch out for Miami Beach, you will see a lot of spring events going on down there,” Governor Lamont.

Officials in Miami enacted an 8 p.m. curfew after street parties devolved into fights, stampedes and destruction of property amid another out-of-control spring break. Meanwhile, tourists say the curfew has hindered the vacations they’ve been looking forward to and for which they paid good money.

The big question is what’s going to happen when people get to their destinations. The CDC says to take precautions and be careful because they don’t want to see the spread continue.

“Don’t go. Stick around here, the weather has been great. And if you have happened to have gone down there, get tested before you come back, get tested at Bradley Airport, and make sure you are okay,” said Governor Ned Lamont.

So while airlines are taking precautions, you can double mask where the paper mask underneath the cloth mask. If you get on the airline that gives you more protection. But if you do everything and the airline is doing everything, where is the risk? Doctors say it’s just the spread, as people go out across the country.

Dr. Manisha Juthani, Yale Medicine says, “We are in a battle for vaccine rollout versus virus spread. So, those big spring break crowds are of course concerning, especially because then people come home and potentially spread it in their community.”

Dr. Juthani says overall numbers have come down from the height. They are still hovering, and they’re not going down anymore. In some cases, they’re coming back up again.

“We have seen a little bit of an uptick in hospitalizations, it’s concerning to me. I just want people to hold off a little bit longer if possible. Hopefully, things will settle out, and we can keep on vaccinating a lot more people,” Dr. Juthani.

We did talk to UConn about this, and they said they didn’t see this coming. As a matter of fact, in the next couple of weeks when the kids go after spring break, they will not be coming back. They will finish their last couple of weeks home doing finals their online to stop the spread and keep everybody safe as possible.

But that doesn’t stop travel.

“Going to Miami, yo,” said Brent Saviko, Watertown, UConn Student.

Last year COVID robbed Brent Saviko of his spring break. So the UConn student is determined to live it up this go-round.

“We’re going to go down there. We vibing. We’re gonna party a little bit. Have some fun. Spring break. Why not?” said Saviko.

“I see the concern. There is a lot of people – don’t get me wrong. But at the same time. They didn’t say anything about a spike in cases. They didn’t say anything like, ‘ok, it’s getting worse,'” said Jeton Saviko, Naugatuck Valley Community College.

Lamont spoke directly to students like the Savikos Monday, urging them to stay away from Miami.

“It looks like it’s pretty hopping for spring break. There’s also a real risk of a flare up there,” said Lamont.

Specialists at Yale New Haven Health warn of a slight spike in COVID hospitalizations. Connecticut’s positivity rate nearly 3.6 percent.

And as a reminder, Bradley offers COVID testing near the baggage claim. You can get off your flight and get tested right away.

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