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UVA Health experts are discussing COVID-19 spike during holiday travel season

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Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 7:09 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Thanksgiving brought out travelers as health experts warn that COVID is on the rise. The Charlottesville Albemarle Airport and medical professionals from UVA are working to slow the spread, but they need help.

There are some things you and your family can do to keep COVID-19 away.

“We always see an increase in respiratory viruses like flu and RSV during the winter months,” associate chief medical officer for critical care are UVA, Dr. Kyle Enfield said.

Enfield expects an additional strain on the hospital systems through colder seasons.

“Typically, hospitals already see an increase in admissions in a normal year around the holiday seasons. This year, we’re going to add COVID to that which as we know is increasing around the country,” Enfield said.

Marketing manager for the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport, Stewart Key, says she sees travelers daily.

“We have seen traffic picking up within the last few weeks as school has let out for break and just in general, people going home to see family,” Key said.

While holidays increase travel and COVID cases higher, there’s work people can do to help the overwhelmed hospital systems.

“There are a lot of things that people have been told and they’re probably getting tired of health experts telling them the same things over and over again, but these things have held true in the past and today,” Enfield said.

Enfield says hand washing, mask wearing, distancing in poorly ventilated areas, staying away from work and school if you are unwell, all helps keep down the spread.

“I want to continue to encourage people to get vaccinated, get their booster if they’re an adult,” Enfield said.

He says these measures also help people under the age of five that have no access to vaccines. The Charlottesville Albemarle Airport is working to slow the spread too.

“We’re really diligent in keeping our airport as clean as we can. We fog before and after every flight and our response team is amazing at it,” Key said.

Enfield says some masks offer higher protection when traveling, but any mask is better than no mask.

Click here keep up with reported COVID-19 cases during holiday travel click here.

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