Posts tagged with "pandemic traveling"

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, COVID-19

Covid Risk Increases During Holidays

By Hannah DiPilato

With the holiday season quickly approaching, Covid cases are skyrocketing all over the country and officials are advising people to social distance this holiday season.

According to CNN, more than 12 million people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and over 260,000 people have died. With those that are elderly or immune-compromised, the risk of complications due to COVID-19 is higher.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated the safety guidelines for traveling. “CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving Day period,” Dr. Henry Walke, Covid-19 incident manager for the CDC, said in a conference call.

“Right now, especially as we are seeing exponential growth in cases and the opportunity to translocate disease or infection from one part of the country to another leads to our recommendation to avoid travel at this time,” Walke continued.

The CDC has also recommended people stay in their immediate households for the holiday season. Even without traveling across the country, seeing those you don’t usually see can lead to a breakout of coronavirus.

Walke said he does not plan to visit his own family for the holiday season. “I haven’t seen my parents since January. I’m staying home and that’s been difficult as I have older parents who would like to see me and who would like to see my children as well,” he said.

“It’s been a long outbreak, almost 11 months now, and people are tired. And we understand that and people want to see their relatives and their friends in the way they’ve always done it,” he continued, “But this year, particularly, we’re asking people to be as safe as possible and limit their travel.”

If you plan to gather with those outside of your immediate household, there are important precautions to take to prevent the spread of coronavirus. First, keep gatherings as small as possible. Many states have restrictions in place which limit the number of people allowed to gather inside. Check your local and state regulations to ensure your gathering is following the laws.

The CDC’s Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz said, “The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with the people in your household.”

If possible, move your Thanksgiving dinner outside. Coronavirus is less likely to spread outside where there is better ventilation than indoors. Although many places are getting cold, tell your guests to load up with blankets and winter gear. If it’s too cold for an outside gathering, keep the windows open to ventilate the area.

One of the most important and simplest things you can do to stop the spread of Covid is to wear a mask. In many states, masks are required in public places and Thanksgiving dinner should be no exception. Keep your mask on unless eating and remain six feet away from other guests.

It is also recommended that guests handle making their own food and bringing their own utensils to Thanksgiving dinner this year. This prevents the spread of germs as well as cross-contamination between households. Remember to frequently wash your hands when cooking, eating and generally to stop the spread of germs.

Covid cases are rising in communities as well as healthcare networks which is making the virus even harder to handle. Many more people are becoming hospitalized due to the virus and healthcare workings are at risk.

According to the Associated Press, 905 staff members at The Mayo Clinic Health System have been infected with coronavirus in the last two weeks. The Mayo Clinic Health System is a network of clinics and hospitals in the midwest that are run by Mayo Clinic.

Executive dean of Mayo Clinic Practice, Dr. Amy Williams, said that most cases came from exposure within the community and not from work. “It shows how widely spread this is in our communities and how easy it is to get COVID-19 in the communities here in the Midwest,” she said.

If a virtual gathering isn’t in your Thanksgiving plans this year and you will be seeing people outside of your family in person, consider isolating yourself beforehand. Since the incubation period of the virus is 14 days, a negative test result doesn’t necessarily mean a person does not carry the virus. Although a negative test result for coronavirus isn’t a sure sign of safety, it is an extra precaution everyone should add before mingling this holiday season.

Besides getting a coronavirus test, people should also consider a 14-day quarantine before seeing loved ones, or afterward. Isolating before seeing family will decrease the risk of spreading the disease within your holiday circle. If you plan on traveling for the holiday, consider isolating yourself after returning to prevent the spread of covid in your community.

The CDC has predicted this will be a dark winter and although a vaccine is in the works, it likely won’t be ready for mass distribution for a few more weeks. The holiday season will only lead to more cases with an increase in travel and group gatherings. As the weather in many places gets colder, inside gatherings are more likely to occur.

The CDC also recommends everyone get their flu shot for the upcoming flu season. By protecting yourself from the flu, you can help the healthcare system more easily manage the large influx of people going to the hospital.

In all states except Hawaii, Maine and Vermont, there is an active or imminent outbreak of coronavirus according to Covid Act Now. Even these three states are at risk for an outbreak. Currently, North Dakota has the highest number of new daily cases per 100,000 people with 159.6 cases. Wyoming and New Mexico follow closely behind.

Many states have separated their cities and counties into different zones depending on the number of Covid cases present. The restrictions in place for these areas are then determined by the number of cases.

New York City is starting to enforce tighter restrictions as cases start to rise. “In the next week or two we should see some substantial restrictions,” said Mayor, Bill de Blasio. “I think indoor dining will be closed, gyms will be closed.  I’m not happy about it. No one is happy about it but that’s what’s coming.” There is currently a 10 person gathering limit and a curfew for nonessential businesses between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Similarly, in Boston, Governor Charlie Baker has released a stay-at-home advisory for the same time frame. People are urged to only go out between these hours for essentials. Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people while outdoor gatherings should be capped at 25 people.

Things on the west coast seem just as bleak. According to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, restaurants, bars, wineries and breweries will be closed for dine-in services for at least three weeks. People in Los Angeles are being advised to stay home and have a similar curfew to Boston and New York City.

In some cities where cases are skyrocketing, restrictions are not being put in place as heavily as in California and New York. In Miami, restaurants are able to be open to 100% capacity and seat 10 people per table. Most things in Miami are reopened, but with restrictions such as requiring masks.

It is crucial for everyone to work together to bring covid cases back down over the coming weeks. As cases spike, it is important to remember that each state has precautions in place for a reason. Although many states won’t fully shut down, you can decide to continue social distancing and only going out for essentials.

360 Magazine, Hotel

Puerto Vallarta Reopens

After new standards helped the State of Jalisco to obtain the WTTC ‘Safe Travels’ stamp, Puerto Vallarta reopens with health and safety protocols in place for locals and visitors

Last week, Puerto Vallarta’s reopening showed the first visitors renowned tourism intact and comforting health and safety protocols to meet the realities of a world of COVID-19.

Since local officials put Puerto Vallarta under quarantine in early March, the city has since undergone a multi-phase reopening process led by local officials following state, federal and international protocols. The process ultimately contributed to the State of Jalisco obtaining the “Safe Travels” stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) last week.

The measures implemented in Puerto Vallarta began at Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport allowed the airport to receive the WTTC “Safe Travels” stamp. Some of the safety measures include social distancing being practiced by airport workers and thermal video cameras being used as people enter the immigration zone, and disinfectant mats used at all airport entrances and exits.

The health and safety of locals and visitors are of the utmost importance across Puerto Vallarta. In addition to the preventive and precautionary measures at the airport, the city is requiring extensive and continuous sanitization in hotels, public transportation, and public spaces. Restaurants must maintain physical distance between tables and patrons, and establishments must place disinfectant mats at entrances. Local officials are also distributing antibacterial gel and conducting temperature checks.

More than 45 hotels have reopened to visitors, with a maximum 30% occupancy, and are offering modified access to on-site restaurants, pools and beaches. A second group of hotels will open before or during July and the remainder will open in the last trimester of the year for the winter high season.

Connectivity has improved in a notable way since last week. Mexican airlines are offering continuous flights to main domestic destinations, including Mexico City (CDMX), Guadalajara, Tijuana, Aguascalientes, and Monterrey. Internationally, four airlines are connecting U.S. cities with Puerto Vallarta.

Given the dynamic nature of the situation, new measures are expected from Mexico’s federal and state governments, aimed at continuing to advance the reopening of activities in a gradual and safe manner.

With Puerto Vallarta entering Phase 1 of its economic and tourist reactivation and the reopening of its beaches, Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel & Romantic Getaway is ready to open its doors on June 22, adopting new hygiene and safety protocols to ensure safe spaces and experiences for its guests. For more information, please visit www.visitpuertovallarta.com.

hiking, 360 MAGAZINE

Moab Adventure Center Reopens

As the community opened earlier this month, the staff of the Moab Adventure Center- the pulse point for all things adventure-related in Moab, Utah- is prepared with newly instituted pandemic-prevention protocols to serve visitors.

As of May 1, 2020, the Southeast Utah Health Department authorized a phased reopening of businesses. Lodging, commercial campgrounds, restaurants and activities are now available and operating within recommended guidelines. And just announced, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks are scheduled to reopen on May 29.

Moab Adventure Center is offering most of its regularly-scheduled activities along with newly added private tours. These include Hummer Safari outings for up to nine people; private canyoneering adventures, exclusive Arches National Park morning tours and private stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) lessons for up to six people; and private Moab rock climbing outings for up to four people.

These programs, assisted by dedicated staff and guides, adhere to new COVID-19 mitigation, operation, and safety protocols enacted to give travelers confidence and assurance. Protocols include cleaning of equipment and vehicles; daily staff and guest health screenings and regulations around food preparation and service.

Vacation-related accommodations are open with occupancy limitations and mandatory 24-hour rest periods between each room use. Moab restaurants are open for carry-out and will also seat a limited number of diners with appropriate spacing. Details on Moab Adventure Center’s full COVID Mitigation and Operations Plan can be found here.

“We’re offering most of our regular adventures  in addition to new private tour options for families and colleagues who self-designate as small groups for multi-day rafting adventures and full- and half-day programs,” said Cort Wright, General Manager, Moab Adventure Center. He noted that bookings for private tours of all kinds are up considerably over the same time last year.

The six tours that have been re-tweaked for private groups are;

  1.  Private Slickrock Hummer Safari, a two-hour, off-road excursion in the world’s most serious 4×4. The rate for up to nine people is $795.
    https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/private-moab-hummer-tours-hells-revenge
  2. Private Sunset Hummer Tour with hors d’oeuvres and the setting desert sun for three hours. The rate for up to nine people is $895.
  3.  Private Canyoneering Adventure for five hours with two rappels: 90′ into a hidden chasm and 120′ off a giant rock arch. The rate for up to six people is $795.
  4.  Private Moab Rock Climbing Lessons for three hours for gym and beginning climbers and kids. The rate for up to four people is $595.
  5. Private Arches National Park Morning Tour, a four-hour scenic bus excursion for up to six guests, at $695 per group.
  6.  Private Stand Up Paddleboard Lessons on the Colorado River, a three-hour float with transportation, board rental, instruction, guide, snacks and water. The rate for up to six people is $595.

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