Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19. The spherical viral particles, colorized blue, contain cross-sections through the viral genome, seen as black dots.

Q: How can I travel safely this summer?

A: Because experts and the federal government still recommend practicing physical distancing, some forms of travel will increase the risk of spreading or becoming infected with COVID-19.

Any method of transportation where the traveler is in contact with a crowd of strangers will increase the risk, said Dr. Jill Weatherhead, assistant professor of tropical medicine and infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Practice social distancing as much as possible, disinfect highly touched surfaces such as seats, trays and arm rests, and wear a facial covering to help reduce viral transmission,” Weatherhead said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends “everyone wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth when in the community setting, including during travel if they must travel.”

Because traveling will increase your risk of getting sick with or spreading the virus, the CDC recommends looking to see whether the virus is spreading in your community or in the places you are going, and reconsidering any travel if you or the person you are visiting is at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19.

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