Should you travel for the holidays? It's complicated.

[Editor's note: This segment was published before Gov. Jay Inslee announced Washington state's newest COVID-19 restrictions, which took affect at 12:01 a.m. today, Nov. 18, 2020.]

Should I travel this holiday season? That question is on a lot of people's minds. The answer depends, says Dr. Christopher Sanford at the UW  Neighborhood Northgate Clinic.

The first thing any traveler should do is to research their destination: What regulations are in place to combat virus transmission?  Prospective travelers also should consider their own medical history. If someone has chronic conditions such as obesity or diabetes, they should lean toward staying home, Sanford says. Travelers also should be very careful to maintain physical distance, wash and sanitize hands frequently, and wear a mask when safe distancing is not possible. 

"I really think it’s important to socialize less than usual in the flesh. Try to find other things such as Zoom meetings that can make up for that can bring your risk down as much as possible," he says.

UW Medicine