Health department advises summer travelers to choose trips wisely

Health department advises summer travelers to choose trips wisely

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - June would typically be the start of the summer travel season, but lots of folks are just now feeling comfortable getting out and about in the city again.

WMC Action News 5 asked the Shelby County Health Department what types of summer trips they'd advise.

"We understand that it's hard to stay in place and that people want to get out of the house and perhaps go someplace else," said David Sweat, Chief Epidemiologist of the Shelby County Health Department.

Nearly three months of living with a pandemic likely has many of you looking for a summer escape. If you're planning a trip the Shelby County Health Department said to keep in mind who you'll be around while there.

"Certain types of activities are going to be safer than others. If you go camping in the woods or by the lake, you're with yourself and your family that's a real safe trip," said Sweat.

The health department pointed out that the risk increases when you start adding airports into the mix, along with any large gathering setting of more than 50 people.

"If those types of trips occur, make sure you're using a mask, make sure you wash your hands frequently," Sweat said.

Memphis Tourism is trying to restart the city's hospitality industry with a $500,000 marketing push aimed at those a day's drive away. Leaders are calling it the summer of the road trip.

"Research has told us that people are going to take those weekend getaways and those road trips from an area of 200, 500, to 600 miles. We are advertising and promoting in that market right now," said Kevin Kane with Memphis Tourism.

It's important to note despite the itch to get out the virus has not gone away, and day-to-day case counts are increasing in Shelby County.

The health department is investigating whether the increases seen this week are a new normal or part of an early surge. We should know more on that next week.

WMC Action News 5 asked the Shelby County Health Department what types of summer trips they'd advise.

"We understand that it's hard to stay in place and that people want to get out of the house and perhaps go someplace else," said David Sweat, Chief Epidemiologist of the Shelby County Health Department.

Nearly three months of living with a pandemic likely has many of you looking for a summer escape. If you're planning a trip the Shelby County Health Department said to keep in mind who you'll be around while there.

"Certain types of activities are going to be safer than others. If you go camping in the woods or by the lake, you're with yourself and your family that's a real safe trip," said Sweat.

The health department pointed out that the risk increases when you start adding airports into the mix, along with any large gathering setting of more than 50 people.

"If those types of trips occur, make sure you're using a mask, make sure you wash your hands frequently," Sweat said.

Memphis Tourism is trying to restart the city's hospitality industry with a $500,000 marketing push aimed at those a day's drive away. Leaders are calling it the summer of the road trip.

"Research has told us that people are going to take those weekend getaways and those road trips from an area of 200, 500, to 600 miles. We are advertising and promoting in that market right now," said Kevin Kane with Memphis Tourism.

It's important to note despite the itch to get out the virus has not gone away, and day-to-day case counts are increasing in Shelby County.

The health department is investigating whether the increases seen this week are a new normal or part of an early surge. We should know more on that next week.

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