Experts warn us to acknowledge the pandemic while planning spring break

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 3:33 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -Many across the US head out for spring break this time of year, but experts urge us not to let our guard down as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Good news for people looking to get some sun, a Lexington emergency physician says travel can be done safely.

Wild parties and packed beaches are things many of us associate with spring break.

“Going against a lot of the epidemiologic practices that we want to do to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” says emergency physician Dr. Ryan Stanton.

Dr. Stanton says there may be fewer restrictions now compared to spring break last year, but he urges us to remember we’re still in the midst of a pandemic.

Dr. Stanton says travel can be done safely. He says to avoid crowded places like bars or packed restaurants. He explains the problem isn’t just about the virus spreading between spring breakers, but party-goers heading home and bringing COVID with them.

“You may be lower risk yourself but those around you, those you may have contact with, especially older family members may not be so lucky and so what we don’t want to see is a family outbreak for one week of having fun,” Dr. Stanton says.

Monday during his daily briefing, Governor Andy Beshear warned Kentuckians to be responsible while traveling.

“Parents, if you’re going to take school-aged children on spring break, don’t do anything there that you wouldn’t do here,” the Governor says.

If families don’t follow protocols, the Governor recommends virtual schooling after returning.

We do have some weapons in the form of vaccinations. Dr. Stanton says many who are high risk have already had the shot, and we’ll only see that percentage go up. Still, he explains the vaccine takes weeks to become effective, meaning we shouldn’t let our guard down just yet.

“This time last year we were just heading into the tunnel and we didn’t know where it was gonna go, we didn’t know how much we had left. At least now we are on the backside and we are seeing that light with the vaccines available and the numbers trending down, and we want to continue that,” Dr. Stanton says.

Dr. Stanton says hopefully next year’s spring break will be more “normal” but he hopes we’ll keep some of the hygiene and safety measures we’ve become accustomed to. He says they’ve decreased flu and RSV cases, saving many lives.

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