Traveling in times of COVID

Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have advised against traveling this Thanksgiving holiday, saying it could cause “exponential growth” of the coronavirus.

How will travel plans be affected when all U students in the state are strongly encouraged to sign up for a free COVID-19 test ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday? The U’s Division of Public Health has the following guidance for members of the U community ahead of the holiday season.

If you plan to travel outside of Utah, please check the website for the State you are traveling to for verification of any travel restrictions that they may have. If you are traveling using any means other than a personal car, review any guidelines for your mode of transportation regarding testing and/or quarantine requirements. Do not take any form of public transportation when possible.

If your test is negative

Antigen tests are looking for the proteins of the virus which causes COVID-19. Your negative test result today means that today, the test did not detect the presence of antigens. Congratulations! However, you need to know that the test used today may have around 2% of tests resulting in false negatives. Also, just because you test negative today, you could test positive tomorrow. Because of these facts, you must continue to take precautions to avoid transmission of the virus. Continue to wear a mask, avoid crowded spaces, and maintain 6 feet of distance between yourself and the people that you don’t live with.

If your test is positive

If your test is positive you need to isolate, following standard U protocols for 10 days after the date of your test. If you have plans to travel outside of Utah, you are advised to wait until after your 10-day isolation period ends. If you absolutely need to travel during your isolation period, it can only be done in a personal car. Do not take any form of public transportation. Consult your personal health care provider for further details about your health.

If you have been identified as a close contact of somebody with a positive test

You are considered a close contact if you have been within 6 feet of anybody who has tested positive for coronavirus for a total of 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period. If you have had close contact with a positive case in the past 14 days, you are advised to not travel. If you absolutely need to travel during your quarantine period, it can only be done in a personal car.