Unvaccinated Ought to Keep away from Labor Day Journey, C.D.C. Head Says


Unvaccinated individuals should avoid traveling during Labor Day holidays, the CDC director said.

With Covid hospital admissions hitting a daily average of 100,000 for the first time since the surge last winter, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vaccination and Masking as Key Factors in Preventing the Spread of the Virus.

“If you are not vaccinated, we would recommend in the first place not to travel,” she said on Tuesday. Labor Day, which celebrates American workers with a three-day weekend and the unofficial end of summer, is often celebrated with barbecues and get-togethers for family and friends.

This year, the widespread use of the delta variant makes it difficult to make decisions about these traditions. Cases, hospital admissions, and deaths are increasing in the United States.

According to CDC data, about 52 percent of the US population, or 174 million people, are fully vaccinated. Among those over 12 years old who are eligible for the vaccine, 72.2 percent of the population, or 205 million people, have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Dr. Walensky said gatherings – among vaccinated relatives and friends – should be held outdoors. And everyone, including those who have been vaccinated, should wear masks in public indoor spaces.

“During the pandemic, we saw the vast majority of transmission among unvaccinated people happen indoors,” she said.

While health officials have said those fully vaccinated and wearing masks can travel, Dr. Walensky that everyone should assess their own risk tolerance as the virus rises.

Although many Americans changed their Thanksgiving plans last year, spikes in Covid transmissions, hospital admissions, and deaths in some areas of California and Texas have been partially attributed to these gatherings.