Over the past several weeks, many states and communities across the nation have noticed a rise in positive cases as we head into cold and flu season, where cooler temperatures draw more people indoors and family gatherings become a regular part of our holiday season.
In response to the rise in cases and to continue to flatten the curve, the states of California, Oregon, and Washington have released a joint travel advisory to their residents.
The travel advisory is not a ban or mandate, but strongly urges those returning from out-of-state travel to self-quarantine for fourteen days upon returning to California, with Oregon and Washington urging their residents to do the same.
In addition, all non-essential out of state travel is strongly discouraged for the time being, and all residents are encouraged to remain as local as possible in the coming weeks, including for holiday gatherings.
Secretary of Health Dr. Mark Ghaly noted in his news update today that the idea of a travel advisory is not new, and that the state has always recommended individuals self-quarantine upon returning to California, especially from areas where there is a high positivity rate. Dr. Ghaly pointed out the difficulty of enforcing a travel mandate in a state of forty million people, and called on California residents to take personal responsibility and act in partnership with the state.
Dr. Ghaly stressed that the “advisory” status does not lessen the urgency or the importance of what the advisory stipulates. If there is any indication that the advisory needs to be strengthened or tightened in the coming weeks and months, Dr. Ghaly noted that they would consider additional precautions if necessary.
It was also mentioned at today’s news conference that the rate of growth is happening rapidly and the situation is evolving quickly, so more information and updates could come sooner if there are more positive cases throughout the state.
We will continue to keep an eye on news coming out of the state of California and will keep you up to date with all the latest information!
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Do you live on the west coast and have upcoming travel plans? Share your thoughts on this new advisory in the comments.