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Coronavirus questions: Is it safe to travel? Should you stock up on water?

Dr. Frank McGeorge answers viewer question about coronavirus

DETROIT – There’s a lot of information and misinformation out there about the coronavirus, so Local 4 is letting viewers submit questions so we can find verified answers.

Click here if you want to submit a question about the coronavirus.

Dr. Frank McGeorge wants to verify or refute any information about the coronavirus, but there are also some questions experts still don’t know the answer to. McGeorge is discussing them because acknowldging what we don’t know is just as important as verifying information so people don’t rely on incorrect answers.

Stocking up on water

Everyone needs to take their personal safety seriously when it comes to preparing for emergencies. We know that in a natural disaster, emergency services might not be able to help you for days in some circumstances, and you wouldn’t be able to rely on having supplies delivered.

That’s why everyone should keep emergency supplies on hand.

Viewers from St. Clair Shores to Livonia have asked whether they should be stocking up on bottled water. Is there something that will happen to the water supply?

The answer is no. If you drink tap water, there’s nothing that will happen to the water supply.

For people who don’t drink tap water and only drink bottled water, having a supply of bottled water available in the event that you can’t get to a grocery store is sensible.

Preparing for this situation is different than natural disaster preparation. A tornado or earthquake would disrupt critical infrastructure such as water or gas supplies. COVID-19 has the potential to cause social disruptions, but not issues with infrastructure.

Is it safe to travel?

Several people from Port Huron to River Rouge asked whether it’s safe to travel in the United States. Is it different for those traveling by air or in a car?

There are no travel restrictions in the U.S., which is appropriate. But from a common sense perspective, airplanes aren’t cleaned as regularly as health experts would like. They recommend sanitizing and wiping down any areas you’ll be in contact with.

In terms of driving, personal cars usually only have our own germs in them. If you stop to pump gas, just use hand sanitizer before getting in the car.

Concerns about travel will likely change and the advice will be modified as the situation evolves. A good source for updated travel answers is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel information page. They cover guidance on cruise ships and other frequently asked questions.

If you have a trip planned, keep a close eye on the situation there, too.


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