Are travelers from hot spots clear they might be carrying virus?

WILLIAMSVILLE — We are hearing stories of people arriving from out of state to escape large urban areas where there are greater odds of becoming infected with the coronavirus. We can see cars at the seasonal homes of out-of-staters.

We'd be sheltering at our vacation home, too, if we were urban dwellers with flexible options. But there seems to be an inherent problem in that it's not clear that these travelers are aware of possibly being virus carriers.

Adults and children have been seen arriving in out-of-state cars and browsing in local vegetable stands, picking up produce, putting it down repeatedly - each time potentially leaving the virus behind.

Folks who are clearly visitors are showing up on local roads with unleashed dogs. What's the use of staying 6 feet apart from one another if an unknowingly infected dog owner sneezes, then pets their dog, who, in turn, runs to jump on the unsuspecting passerby?

We who love to pet cute dogs we pass need to be thinking twice before making contract. And please, all dogs - be they Vermonters or not - should be leashed. After all, the jury clearly is still out as to the degree to which pets, fabric, cardboard, and porous materials can be transmitters, and to how long the virus can live on those surfaces.

We are not looking to “other” the folks coming here seeking shelter, nor to create paranoia in regards to pets. But some awareness needs to be engendered, and we have to speak up if someone's behavior is threatening our health as well as that of those around us.

If someone is coming in from, say, New York City or Boston, they need to follow strict quarantine protocol and avoid situations - as they would if they were home - in which the disease that they are running from might be spread.

Our quarantine is not going to succeed if we are getting hit again and again from outside sources.

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