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Bakersfield doctor provides tips for traveling during the pandemic

Southwest Airlines
Posted at 5:51 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 20:51:02-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — As more and more Americans are getting vaccinated many are looking to travel again. This also comes at a time when others are still worried about the increase in Delta variant cases across the county. So what are some things you need to keep in mind to travel safely?

As it stands now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that all travelers wear their masks on public transit and indoor areas, to avoid crowds, and wash their hands as much as possible.

“Don't quit on traveling. I think you know we need to live our lives. We really do," explained Dr. Hemmal Kothary, chief medical officer for the Central California market at Dignity Health. "This virus I believe is going to be with us forever. I don't think it's going to be as aggressive as it is right now but we can’t let this stop us.”

However, Dr. Kothary says there are some ways that you can increase your safety while traveling on public transportation.

“I think the biggest thing is making sure you wear your mask in these small confined areas as well as making sure you don’t touch your face and if you do those little things, you’ll be fine.”

Dr. Kothary recognizes that many still have fears regarding the new Delta variant.

“If you imagined the original coronavirus. If you imagined you would have one molecule of virus in your body the Delta variant has a thousand. So when we first started with this pandemic we would say having a conversation with someone for 15 minutes is what it would take to get the virus with a large amount of virus. With the Delta variant, it takes about probably 10 seconds.”

However, Dr. Kothary says vaccinated travelers have a very minimal chance of being hospitalized if they do come in contact with the virus.

For those considering receiving their third booster shot prior to travel, Dr. Kothary says it’s a good idea before your next trip.

“If you’re coming up to the 8-month mark I would definitely get the booster shot before you travel. Now if you’re 5-6 months into it no problem, go travel.”

Dr. Kothary says that if you are considering traveling and are unvaccinated that traveling shorter distances to limit exposure can be safer.