Is it safer to fly or drive? Rock Island County health experts weigh in on summer travel plans

Local News

Months of a pandemic and quarantines has a lot of people feeling the need to get away, and that raises the question of whether travel is safe.

Health experts say the best option right now is not go anywhere at all. Nevertheless, people will still travel.

The big question this summer, to fly or not to fly ?

“You know I think that the risks are pretty equal,” says Janet Hill, Chief Operating Officer with Rock Island County Health Department.

Hill says while there’s no definite answer, there are a number of factors to consider when deciding how to get to your destination. The most important, should you travel at all?

“I understand that everyone is anxious for a vacation, but the virus isn’t taking the summer off. If somebody is really wanting to travel the safest thing to do is consider the mode of transportation,” says Hill.

For some, the mode of transpiration will be plane, and that’s why airport officials say they are taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of others.

“We have plexi glass at all of our ticket and gate counters. We added decals on floor throughout the terminals so people can have the proper 6ft distancing. We have also increased our cleaning schedules,” says Ashleigh Johnston, Public Relations at Quad City International Airport.

Hill says, “The air is probably going to be fine, but you should be wearing your mask while on the airplane. Airlines are doing a really good job of keeping the surfaces clean, but that’s a place you can not control your environment.”

While some may feel traveling in the comfort of their own car is less of a risk factor than flying health experts say, you have to take in consideration the pit stops along the way like filling up at the pump.

“You have to think about when you’re driving at gas stations, and restaurants. So really the safest thing is to consider not going, and that probably isn’t particularly popular.”

In the air — or on the road– health experts say it’s all about taking smart precautions.

Health officials also say it’s important to follow state and local travel restrictions.

Check state and local health departments for the latest information along your route and your destination.

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