Updated: May 9, 2022
I know we’re all over COVID but even still, I wouldn’t go anywhere where there aren’t a lot of hospital beds, regardless of whether there’s a pandemic going on or not. What happens if you get in a car accident or have a heart attack?
So how do you find out what local hospitalization numbers are in the destination you’re traveling to? There are a few ways:
1. Use Google
Google the destination and the word “hospitalizations” or “COVID rates”. I just did that with NYC and the New York City Health website came up. It shows that case numbers are increasing but hospitalizations are stable and deaths are declining.
2. Read The Local News
Check the local newspapers or TV station websites and see what their top stories are. When my family and I were thinking of going to Honolulu in August 2021, I checked KHON’s website (Channel 2 news) to see their top stories. The first was: We’re closer to the point where we will run out of capacity’: Hawaii health officials urge no gatherings. One of the quotes in the story was from the Healthcare Association of Hawaii president stating, “We’re getting closer and closer to the point where we really will run out of capacity in the state.” Gulp. We postponed that trip and went in early March when cases/hospitalizations were low.
This brings me to my go-to website for checking hospitalizations and case numbers. COVID Vaccine & Risk Tracker – Covid Act Now. Just type in the destination (city, county, state or zip). Back in June 2021, I put in Port St. Lucie and as you can see from the screenshot below, they were disastrous.
I wouldn’t have gone to Florida if they paid me during that time. So I just put in Fairfield County, CT where I grew up and am planning on taking my kids soon and although cases are up, hospitalizations are down. See screenshot below.
I know people want to travel and they are. TSA checkpoint numbers are close to pre-pandemic levels. I’m one of them and I think if you’re fully vaccinated, don’t have any pre-existing conditions and don’t live with anyone who is vulnerable, like those with health problems, then go. Just be sure to ask your doctor and follow the guidelines.
If you want to be extra cautious, I would wear a solid mask, bring a portable HEPA filter, avoid crowds, don’t eat indoors and try to fly first class to have fewer people around you.
Another resource: CDC COVID Data Tracker