With COVID rising again in NJ, should you alter travel plans?
While COVID-19 cases are back on the rise in New Jersey for the first time in 10 weeks, health experts say the impact on your Spring Break or Summer vacation plans should be minimal.
Whether you are headed to Florida, down the Jersey shore, or traveling to the Caribbean or overseas, there is no need to alter plans at this time.
While the BA.2 offshoot of the omicron variant is fast becoming the dominant strain in New Jersey and the U.S., it is not causing a surge in hospitalizations or more severe illness. Health officials say current vaccines and immunity from prior COVID infections is still providing strong protections.
BA.2 is spreading more rapidly in New Jersey and the Northeast than the rest of the country, now accounting for more than half of all new infections. The national rate is 35%.
However, Chief White House Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci does not see a major concern.
On Tuesday, Fauci said if we are going to see an uptick in cases, it will "be within the next week or so," but does not believe there will be a large surge in new cases "unless something changes dramatically."
While health experts say traveling does have risk, there is no need to cancel or change plans.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention is monitoring the spread of BA.2 and will likely update travel guidelines if there is a sharp increase in cases. That could include recommendation for more masking in areas where there is a high community spread.
Gov. Phil Murphy has said he does not anticipate a return to widespread masking or other restrictions.
If you are traveling out of the country, the CDC and the U.S. State Department are updating guidelines here.