Tips to stay safe if you're traveling during COVID-19

As airline travel continues to increase amid the coronavirus pandemic, here are some tips from LA emergency medicine physician Dr. Michael Daignault before you hit the skies.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- While the summer heats up, airline travel is on the rise. Passenger traffic has increased over 600% since mid-April, according to the TSA. As positive coronavirus cases in California continue to grow, Dr. Michael Daignault with Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center shares his tips to stay safe.

TIP 1: SEAT ARRANGEMENT

"The most important thing is the seat arrangement," Daignault said. "I know JetBlue has exed out the middle seats for at least a portion of the summer. Other airlines are strategically placing your seats on the plane so you can't pick every possible seat available."

In addition to JetBlue, other airlines, including Alaska Airlines, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest said they are blocking seats in order to space out passengers, but the measure is temporary according to the airlines.

Daignault added that if you have the opportunity to choose your own seat, opt for the window seat because you will avoid people passing through the cabin.

TIP 2: PREPARE FOR YOUR FLIGHT

Leading up to your flight, Daignault advised to get sufficient sleep, eat healthy, take vitamins C and D, and exercise in order to boost your immune system.

TIP 3: POINT AIR VENT AWAY

"A good tip is when you sit down in your seat, turn on your filter so it pushes the air, not on your face, but directly in front of your face," Daignault said. "So, it keeps any particles or viruses away from your face."

TIP 4: WEAR SUNGLASSES

Daignault said that if you're traveling during the day, he suggests wearing sunglasses on board.

"In the ER, we always have the mask plus eye protection because the virus can get into your eyes," he said. "I think wearing sunglasses is a great idea."

TIP 5: FORGET THE GLOVES

"You're actually just spreading coronavirus and other bacteria and viruses all over the place and you're probably not paying attention to washing your hands as much as possible or keeping them away from your face," Daignault said.

TIP 6: DO YOUR RESEARCH

Daignault said the contact tracing is not up to par yet, so passengers should check up on airline policies.

"People should check the airline's policies for how they're going to inform passengers if they were on a plane with a person that eventually tested positive," he said. "That's something you really need to keep track of."

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