Connecticut doctors warn against Labor Day travel for those unvaccinated


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — With Labor Day Weekend coming up doctors are concerned about holiday travel, especially among those who are not vaccinated.

The delta variant and close contact with others could spell danger.

Hartford Healthcare St. Vincent’s Medical Center Emergency Medicine Chair Dr. Steven Valassis calls this Labor Day weekend the perfect storm with the positivity rate in Connecticut creeping near five percent as of Tuesday.

“You’ve got people who were vaccinated eight months ago so their immunity is going down. You’ve got the delta variant that’s come in, and obviously, the delta variant is more contagious,” explained Dr. Valassis.

Travel is especially risky for people who still have not gotten their first shot.

“If you look at the statistics, those who are not vaccinated are 16 times more likely to be hospitalized if they get COVID.”

Young children who are not eligible to get vaccinated are also at risk when traveling.

“The young ones luckily have done well but we’ve seen an uptick in cases in young children and hospitalizations, as well.”

Another thing to consider about traveling to a state like Florida with a high rate of infection, hospitals are inundated with COVID cases, which could leave you without a bed should you need it while traveling.

RELATED: Health Headlines: Yale doctor on CT’s COVID rate nearing five percent, Labor Day travel warning for unvaccinated, and latest on Moderna’s vaccine

As for holiday gatherings and parties this weekend, Yale Medicine Infectious Disease physician Oneyma Ogbuagu offers this guidance: “Keep the gatherings outdoors and try to limit the size of gatherings.”

Doctors prefer people enjoy fun locally.

“Go to your local beaches, go to your local parks. Barbeque, be smart, support your local communities here and it’s probably a good time to stay close to home,” advises Dr. Valassis.

And if you have plans to travel, Dr. Valassis says if you are vaccinated, wear masks, social distance, and make wise decisions like staying outdoors, avoiding large crowds and not unmasking indoors in places like restaurants.

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