Well I’ll say it; this year did NOT go as planned. No one saw this coming, and if you planned on spending a summer weekend in Washington don’t lose hope! You may be wondering, is it safe to travel now? It depends on if you are prepared. Here are some things to consider before you “safecation” in Little Washington, one of the most beautiful small towns in Eastern North Carolina.
Before embarking on your adventure, you may want to get tested for the virus to ensure that you are not a carrier. Once you receive negative test results, you can feel confident that you are an ideal candidate for travel. If you choose not to get tested before your trip, we ask that you please remember the “3 W’s” while you’re visiting to protect yourself and others. The 3 W’s include:
- Wear a face covering. A face covering can help reduce the spread of germs by helping to cover a cough or sneeze. Make sure it completely covers your mouth and nose. Avoid pinching the front of the mask when you remove it, for this is where most of the germs are collected. Instead, grab it from the loops behind your earlobes.
- Wait six feet apart and avoid close contact. Practice social distancing from those who are not a member of your household or group. COVID-19 spreads mostly between those who are in close contact.
- Wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after touching surfaces frequently touched by others, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and before touching your face or eating. If soap and water are not available, bring and use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub your hands together until they feel dry (CDC, 2020).
With the 3 W’s in mind, don’t forget to pack a face covering and hand sanitizer for your trip. You may want to pack non-perishable food as well. Restaurant and store hours have been impacted by the pandemic, and some may be closed. Always call before you try to go to any restaurant, store, or attraction.
The Visitor’s Center located on the waterfront boardwalk will be happy to help you plan your visit. Give them a call at 252-946-9168 or visit in person 7 days a week during their hours of operation. They recently installed a pop-out window with a sneeze guard barrier to help limit exposure when interacting with guests.
Next, consider your travel method and the risks involved (CDC, 2020). Car and RV travel may be the safest option for your trip, but make sure to exemplify the 3 W’s whenever you make stops for gas, food, or bathroom breaks. If you must utilize air, bus, or train travel know that it can involve sitting and standing within 6 feet of others for hours at a time, which can increase your risk for exposure. Always wear a face mask and wash your hands often.
When you complete your trip, you may want to get tested once more before heading back out in your local community. Many COVID-19 cases have been asymptomatic, so even though you may not feel sick after your trip, you may have become a carrier. Some states and local governments may even require a 14-day quarantine after out-of-state travel, so call your local health department to be sure.
This may seem like a lot to consider, but for your safety and the safety of others do your best to follow the 3 W’s. At the end of the day, we are all in this together. If we want things to go back to normal, we have to do our best to protect ourselves and those around us. Little Washington misses its’ visitors and we will welcome you when you’re ready.
CDC. (2020, June 28). Considerations for Travelers-Coronavirus in the US. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html