Norton doctor warns against travel to new COVID-19 ‘hotspots’

Norton doctor warns against travel to new COVID-19 ‘hotspots’

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As South Carolina deals with a new spike in coronavirus cases, Kentucky health officials say at least two COVID-19 clusters have popped up in the Commonwealth involving at least nine people who recently traveled to Myrtle Beach. The popular summer hotspot is now attracting a different kind of visitor: one that likes to linger.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (Source: WMBF News)

Myrtle Beach opened its hotels on May 15. By June 11, the city declared a state of emergency due to the spread of COVID-19.

”Just because it’s hot outside does not mean that this virus is less potent. It’s still there,” Dr. Monalisa Tailor with Norton Healthcare said.

Tailor recommends travelers stay out of states with a resurgence in coronavirus cases. However, no matter where people go, vigilance is key. Airlines have adapted to social distancing and extensive disinfecting practices. It’s also mandatory on many airlines for passengers to keep a mask on.

”Keeping your hands clean, trying to avoid touching your face, that is also going to be very important because we’re touching touch screens at the airport. We’re touching our luggage. We’re touching the bins in order to get our items all scanned through TSA,” Tailor explained.

During road trips, travelers must be mindful when they stop for breaks.

”Feel free to use a glove, so that way you can hold the gas pump and pump your gas, and then get rid of that glove after you’ve completed that activity,” Tailor said. “If you’re going to be going to the public restroom, do wear a facial covering that covers your nose and your mouth.”

Tailor recommends having hand sanitizer and wipes everywhere you go, and handwashing after touching public countertops and doors is a must. Tailor also suggests stopping at drive-thru restaurants as much as possible while traveling rather than getting out of the car.

Even at a hotel, wipe down the most-touched things like doorknobs and TV remotes.

”I would be more likely to stay in a hotel that has those kinds of routines in place rather than an Airbnb right now, because someone is cleaning an Airbnb on their own, and it may not follow those particular industry standards,” Tailor said.

One last tough piece of advice from the doctor is to stay away from crowds on the beach. Tailor suggests hitting the sand earlier in the day when fewer people may be around.

”If you want to go to a beach or a tropical area, maybe wait if you can. Just so that way you can help protect yourself and your loved ones around you,” Tailor said.

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