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CDC, San Diego hospitals recommend unvaccinated not to travel for Labor Day

Memorial Day Travel Pennsylvania
Posted at 7:28 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 22:28:42-04

KEARNY MESA, Calif. (KGTV) — With a surge of new COVID-19 cases, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people who are unvaccinated not to travel over Labor Day weekend.

San Diego County hospitals are backing the CDC’s travel advisory.

Doctors said they expect a spike in covid infections and hospitalizations following Labor Day, as with every other holiday.

“There’s essentially no holiday in which we’ve not seen a surge in cases,” Dr. Abbie Olulade, with Sharp Healthcare, said.

“It’s really important that we learn the lessons from before. Why do we keep repeating history in a negative way?” Dr. Ghazala Sharieff, Scripps Health Chief Medical Officer of Acute Care, said.

The CDC's recommendation comes as travel experts expect many to hit the road for the holiday.

San Diego’s Tourism Authority says hotels are reporting bookings in the 80% range for this weekend.

However, doctors said the delta variant makes holiday travel even more concerning this year.

“The delta variant is not only the most contagious current virus variant that we know of, it’s one of the most contagious respiratory viruses that most people will ever come into contact with,” Dr. Olulade said.

The spike in covid hospitalizations coupled with staffing shortages has caused Scripps Health to postpone some medical procedures.

As of Wednesday, 174 of its patients are hospitalized with the virus. A majority are unvaccinated.

That number is higher than Scripps had around Labor Day in 2020 and even Thanksgiving.

“We're already at our capacity for heart-lung bypass machines, what’s going to happen in a couple weeks?” Dr. Sharieff said.

As for people who are fully vaccinated, doctors said they should still be careful and wear a mask. Although less likely, it is still possible to become infected and spread the virus while fully vaccinated.