CDC advises unvaccinated people against travel over Labor Day weekend

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky advised unvaccinated people against traveling over the upcoming Labor Day weekend as the U.S. battles back a surge in Covid-19 hospitalizations caused by the highly contagious delta variant.

“Given where we are with disease transmission right now, we would say that people need to take their own these risks into their own consideration as they think about traveling,” Walensky said during a White House Covid briefing Tuesday, noting that people who are fully vaccinated and wear masks can travel. “If you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling.”

Health systems across the U.S. have been dealing with record hospitalizations in recent weeks, with several states like Washington, Mississippi and Florida all hitting record levels of new Covid cases and hospitalizations.

The current seven-day average of new Covid infections in the U.S. is 129,418 cases per day, a decrease of 10% from the prior week’s seven-day average, Walensky said.

The seven-day average for Covid hospitalizations stands at about 11,500 hospitalizations per day, a decrease of about 5% from last week’s seven-day average, she said, citing data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Covid deaths have risen by just 2.3% over the previous week to a seven-day average of 896 deaths per day, she said.

Walensky also recommended spending time outside with other vaccinated family members over the Labor Day weekend, and to mask up when indoors, especially when in public, to help prevent transmission.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have seen that the vast majority of transmission takes place among unvaccinated people in closed indoor settings,” Walensky said. “Masks are not forever, but they are for now.”