Pre-Travel COVID-19 Testing
COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Older adults, as well as patients who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
Why Should I Be Tested Before I Travel?
Around the world people are changing the way they live their lives and interact with the world around them in order to help fight the spread of COVID-19. One of the major changes we have seen is social distancing measures put into place to give space to those around us. While staying six feet apart from someone you are sharing an open space with seems to be effective, it is more difficult to maintain adequate distance in enclosed spaces, such as trains and airplanes. This puts more responsibility on the travelers using these transportation systems to wear a face mask and monitor their health.
There are currently no nationwide mandates requiring COVID-19 testing before traveling, while some cities and states may have more specific requirements. Going to a clinic for pre-travel COVID-19 testing is a choice that helps to drive down the infection rate of this illness. A pre-travel test helps fight the spread of this virus in the following two ways:
Protects Other Travelers: If everyone who planned to travel went through the steps of getting a pre-travel COVID-19 test and self-quarantining until their trip, the spread of this illness would be drastically lowered. Sharing closed spaces with others who are infected can lead to infection in others, even if they did not have direct contact with each other. Unfortunately, there is still much research that needs to be done with this virus to understand exactly how it spreads.
Family You Visit: If you are traveling to see family, especially those who are immune compromised or high-risk, getting a pre-travel COVID-19 test is an excellent precaution to help protect your family from developing this illness. If you have a travel date coming up, get tested before your trip!
While pre-travel testing has the ability to greatly reduce the spread of this virus, it is not full proof. You can receive a negative test result, wear a face mask, and then still get infected from another passenger on your flight before landing at your destination. Make sure to take extra precautions when traveling at this time. Bring hand sanitizer, wear a medical grade face mask, and keep your distance as much as possible from other passengers.
When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention
Do not schedule a regular COVID-19 test if you are displaying any of the following emergency warning signs that can occur in COVID-19 patients:
-Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
-Confusion when talking
-Inability to remain conscious
-Bluish tint to lips or face
If your or someone in your household is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately by calling 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility to notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
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