Despite warnings from health officials, millions of people across the country are traveling for Christmas this year.
“I think I’m going to be safe because I’m taking all the precautions and I got tested before I left just to make sure I didn’t have anything,” said Mary Benson of West Haven.
Many are using COVID tests to protect themselves and others, but one medical expert warns it may not be enough.
“It just tells you right at that instant you don’t have the virus. But you have to worry about that point and going all the way to your family and then spending the holiday,” said Kagya Amoako Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of New Haven.
He adds that PCR testing measures the actual virus in the body, while rapid tests measure antibodies. You could get a rapid test within a window, but the results are unreliable.
“It could say you don’t have the antibodies, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have the virus. It takes time for your antibodies to build up,” said Amoako.
So, he warns that peoples should stay home. But if they’re traveling, they should stay safe and keep social distance on the way there.
“The trains nowadays are pretty empty anyways so that’s not really something I feel like I have to worry about,” said Giselle Bellia who was on the way home to New Jersey from New Haven’s Union Station on Thursday.
Mary Benson is looking forward to another suggestion. She’s keeping gatherings small by spending it with just her brother.
“Having a family meal together. I haven’t seen him in a while so it’s nice to see family,” said Benson.
Another tip is don’t rush to return. Try to quarantine before traveling back.
“When I get down there I’m not going to come back up for a couple weeks,” said Bellia.
And, a trip starting with a test should end with one when you do return.
“On top of following the CDC guidelines, I would probably recommend that you get tested,” said Amoako.