TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – With only one week left of school, parents in the Tampa Bay Area are making plans for Summer vacation, whether that means traveling or staying home.
CW44 learned what local public health experts say you need to keep in mind to stay safe.READ MORE: Florida School Safety Law Goes Into Effect On Friday
One public health expert says even if you are fully vaccinated, before you walk out the door to go on vacation, make sure you have your mask, just in case the places you visit require them.
University of South Florida Public Health Professor, Dr. Jill Roberts, says this Summer the focus needs to be on children.
“I think as parents, we need to really seriously think about what is an acceptable risk and what isn’t…Kids under the age of twelve cannot be vaccinated and kids who are twelve to 17 just got vaccinated, so they aren’t fully vaccinated yet,” said Dr. Roberts.
She says while children aren’t at risk for severe illness, they can be spreaders of COVID-19, which is why people who are not vaccinated need to be careful.
“You need to avoid crowded places, wear a mask and socially distance,” said Dr. Roberts.
But she says if you do plan to travel, there’s a few things you should consider, like transportation.READ MORE: Florida's 15-Week Abortion Ban Scheduled To Go Into Effect This Week
“It would not necessarily be safe for my daughter even if she’s wearing a mask to be on an airplane,” said Dr. Roberts.
Dr. Roberts has an eight-year-old daughter and says unvaccinated children and families should consider driving rather than flying.
“Coronavirus isn’t the only thing that takes place. We’ve actually tracked measles over flights, we track influenza over flights,” said Dr. Roberts.
She says even if you are vaccinated, make sure to carry hand sanitizer and masks with you on a trip.
“You definitely want to research because in certain places local ordinances may override what you have to do for a state ordinance. You need to be careful. There may be various places where masks mandates are still in place,” said Dr. Roberts.
Although it’s unlikely you’ll need it, you should carry your vaccination card.
“You could end up getting into circumstances of private parties or private places that really do want to see that information,” said Dr. Roberts.MORE NEWS: Celebrate The Tampa Bay Lightning And Independence Day With Fourth Of July Boat Parade
Dr. Roberts says she plans to spend the summer locally, exploring everything Tampa Bay has to offer so they can avoid exposure to COVID-19.