Coronavirus Concerns: What You Need to Know if Traveling

Travel and medical experts weigh in.

Travel agencies are closely watching developments with the coronavirus.

02 28 2020 Travel Agency Coronavirus Pkg 6

With Northern Michigan winter in full force, many are looking forward to taking off on spring break.

“That’s our number one call, get me somewhere warm,” said Shelli France, co-owner and vice president of Air Bear Travel in Cheboygan.

France has been a travel agent for 35 years, and lately she’s been busy talking with clients that concerned about the coronavirus.

“I am encouraging people to keep your travel plans, I don’t believe there isn’t a reason to panic if you’re going into the Caribbean, Mexico, or taking a cruise,” France said.

She says some travelers have expressed concerns, but…

“The industry as a whole, the airlines, the cruise line, they are taking precautionary measures to keep people healthy,” France said.

Some of her customers have decided to stay home.

“There’s just been a handful that have called and said ‘you know we’re going to put the brakes on our plans, we’ll reconvene on this later,” France said.

Dr. Karen DenBester is an infectious disease physician at McLaren Northern Michigan. She also recommends keeping travel plans.

“I think the risk of contracting coronavirus in the United States is extremely low so certainly travel, just be smart,” Dr. DenBester said.

Dr. DenBester says to follow basic cold and flu season rules.

“Certainly disinfect your high touch areas,” Dr. DenBester said. “Good cough etiquette, covering your sneeze, washing your hands, if you haven’t washed your hands, avoid touching your face.”

France says she is getting constant updates to keep her customers informed.

“We are getting updates all the time, almost daily, from the cruise lines the airlines, they are letting us know how they are handling things every step of the way,” France said.

For the latest travel advisories from the Center for Disease Control, click here.