The holidays were difficult last year with many people skipping the annual trip to Grandma's house thanks to COVID-19 fears. With the delta variant surging across the country, many find themselves questioning the safety of holiday travel plans once again.
ABC15 Health Insider Dr. Shad Marvasti says booking a flight in the next month is a measured risk. He says contracting COVID is a bigger threat now than it was in May.
Like most things these days, he says a vaccination card is your ticket to more peace of mind.
"They have great air filtration systems in place so I think you can be fairly confident if you're fully vaccinated."
Dr. Shad does recommend everyone travels with a higher quality mask like a KN-95 or N-95. He also advises skipping the in-flight pretzels and says you should only drop your mask if you must for a sip of water.
If you have kids who can't get vaccinated, he says now is not the time to take them on a plane.
"I would not travel with anyone who's unvaccinated, especially children who are unvaccinated, because we have more children who are infected, hospitalized, and dying from COVID than any other time during the pandemic," said Dr. Shad.
When it comes to ground transportation like buses, trains, and light rail where people are close and there are a lot of high touch surfaces, he says absolutely do not take off your mask if you have to get on board.
If your plans include a large event, Dr. Shad questions if they should even be held right now but, if you go, mask up.
"A big event like a football game or a concert or other venues I really feel its critical that everyone wear a mask, even if you're vaccinated, to stop the spread," he said.
Dr. Shad is hopeful if we can plateau with Delta cases soon, then the outlook may be better for the holidays.