JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Heading home for the holidays is looking very different this year. 2020 is all about masks, social distancing and staying healthy.
AAA released its annual Thanksgiving travel report and said 2.4 million people will be hitting the skies for this holiday.
Earlier this week, Jacksonville International Airport announced it’s expecting 7,000 passengers a day in November.
UF Health Jacksonville’s Director of Infectious disease, Chad Neilsen, told News4Jax it is important to be prepared to travel with other people during a pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released new guidance that says a double layer mask could help not only stop the spread of COVID-19, but protect the person wearing it.
Neilsen said a double layer mask is exactly how it sounds it’s two pieces of fabric.
“It’s simple physics, it going to be less permittable than a single layer, less saturated than a single layer.”
News4Jax asked Neilsen which is better a double layer cloth mask or a surgical mask?
“The primary difference is a surgical mask is going to be disposable and it’s got a particular material that makes it impossible to certain viruses and bacteria, it’s a little stronger and little studier but it is disposable and if it gets wet it immediately has to be disposed of.”
The number one protector is going to be an N-95, but the CDC still says to save those for the health care professionals if possible.
Neilsen said preparations to have a safe holiday start before getting to the airport.
For anyone flying or going home from college, he recommends starting to limit interactions with others.
“Start limiting certain events that could be risky so particularly college students, stop going to bars, stop going to restaurants so that way you’re limiting your risk of bringing it home,” Neilsen said.
Before you get to the airport, check your airline on their flight policies.
Many airlines have changed their policy on keeping middle seats open, even if it said something else when you booked the flight. If you don’t feel comfortable most airlines have very flexible change fees but do it now before you get on the plane.
As for contracting the virus during travels, the CDC says you’re more likely to catch the virus standing in the line for security or waiting for your baggage, than once you get on the plane.
Do yourself a favor and make sure to social distance and remember: masks are required at JAX.