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Kentuckians adjust vacation plans following state travel advisory

The governor issued a travel advisory asking Kentuckians who have traveled to states with high COVID-19 positivity rates to self-isolate for 14 days.
Updated: Jul. 21, 2020 at 5:48 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s new travel advisory is already impacting travel plans for some in Louisville.

Beshear on Monday Beshear urged Kentuckians to self-quarantine for 14 days if they visit a state with a positivity rate of 15 percent or higher. As of Tuesday, those states are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas. Click here to see each state’s positivity rate.

The key word right now is “recommendation,” as it is not a mandatory quarantine. Kentucky officials want people who have traveled to certain states to consider the interest of their health and the health of others.

If you’ve been to these locations recently, the Kentucky Department of Public Health recommends you stay home for 14 days, starting from the date you left that location. If you are planning to visit these destinations in the near future, state officials say it would be wise to reconsider your travel plans.

“The No. 1 COVID-19 cluster cause that we’re seeing right now is travel,” Beshear said. “We know how much this is being brought back ... Fifteen percent is really dangerous. We need people to change their plans because it’s a life-or-death matter for this commonwealth.”

Krissy Giles has canceled several vacations since the pandemic hit, but made the decision this week to go to Florida for a girls’ trip.

”Oh, so needed, so needed,” Giles said, adding that she’ll be going to the beach, staying in a condo, wearing a mask and taking all the precautions. Giles said she feels comfortable traveling to Florida. 

“Because we aren’t going to be around people,” she said. “I personally would be around less people going to Florida than I would be at home.”

Eva Wilde said she is not passing judgement on anyone who chooses to travel right now. She said she had plans to go to Florida last weekend, but canceled. 

“Literally at the last minute, (it) didn’t feel like the right decision,” Wilde said. “I couldn’t take the chance of bringing something back to my family, let alone my community.”

Erin Stennett is a travel agent and owner of Majestic Memories Travel & Vacations and worries about people traveling now because of the virus. 

“I have not been booking very many people,” Stennett said. “The people that I have been booking is for further out into 2021.”

Stennett said she’s recommending that people avoid travel right now if it’s not necessary.

“This has been a huge financial loss for us,” Stennett said. “If something were to happen to (a client), that would be on my conscious. Human lives over money, always.”

As for Giles, she said she plans to get tested when she gets back from Florida and quarantine until she gets the results.

Click here for more on the state’s travel advisory.

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