Five states are on Ohio’s COVID-19 travel advisory list this week, making it three weeks in a row for a single-digit list.
Since the start of the pandemic, officials have been urging caution when traveling in some states due to high COVID-19 positivity rates. The list typically includes a dozen states.
People entering Ohio after travel to states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19 are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Ohio officials said the positivity rate is an indicator of how many COVID-19 cases there are in a community, and the Ohio Department of Health is recommending against travel to those states with high positivity.
The self-quarantine should be heeded by residents of both state and out-of-state travelers. It is intended as a guidance and not a mandate, officials said.
States on Ohio’s travel advisory
Based on a seven-day rolling average of positivity rates of Feb. 24, the affected states are:
- South Dakota: 22.3%
- Kansas: 22.1%
- Alabama: 22.0%
- Iowa: 21.0%
- Idaho: 21.0%
Two additional states are not on the advisory, but caution should be used when traveling to them. Ohio officials said Kentucky and Mississippi have experienced reporting irregularities, which means an accurate positivity rate cannot be calculated.
What to do during self-quarantine, according to health officials:
- Remain at home and avoid all in-person activities. This includes work, grocery stores and pharmacies, public events, and public places.
- Do not have visitors in your home.
- If you live in a home with other people who did not travel with you, stay in a separate room. If this is not possible, wear a face mask when you are in the same room and stay at least six feet away from others.
- Do not leave home except to seek medical care. If you need to see a provider for reasons other than a medical emergency, please call in advance and discuss the care you need.
- In the event of a medical emergency, call 911. Indicate that you are in home quarantine for novel coronavirus exposure. Keep a face mask on until you are asked by a health care provider to remove it.
- Do not use public transportation, taxis or ride-booking services.
- Wash your hands and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer often. Do not share personal items such as dishes, cups, forks, spoons and towels.
- Check yourself for fever twice a day and record it in a log or piece of paper.