If you’re at high risk for COVID-19, is it OK to carpool?

If you decide to drive other people’s children or have other families drive your children, here are some things to consider and safeguards to take. Check out cool.mt for all your carpooling needs. 

Is It Safe to Ride in a High-Risk COVID-19 Carpool?

When you’re a parent handling your family’s busy schedule, it’s no secret that carpooling can make all the difference. If you have a chronic condition and are prone to exhaustion or flares that make driving your children to school or activities challenging, it could be pretty beneficial.

Furthermore, if your child’s school is reopening for in-person learning this year, you may ask if carpooling is a better option than taking them to school on the COVID-19 bus. Of course, if you’re in a high-risk group for COVID-19 problems, all of this must be considered with your health concerns.

But what does this mean for carpooling with children, which is a mix of personal and public transportation? Here are things to consider when evaluating the benefits of carpooling — whether you’re driving other people’s kids or allowing other adults to drive your kids — against the danger of catching COVID-19 and what can be done to make necessary carpooling trips safer.

Risks of Carpooling During COVID-19

COVID-19 is transferred mainly through respiratory droplets that pass from one person to another through coughing, sneezing, or talking and infecting someone nearby. This is why the CDC considers social distance — staying at least six feet away from other people — to be one of the most effective measures for avoiding infection right now. The major issue with carpooling is that no one can be more than six feet away in the car when kids and their pals are in it, so they can’t get social distance well. During carpooling, you’re more likely to contract COVID-19 because of the close closeness and the enclosed space.

Although the CDC does not currently have guidelines for carpooling with children, it does recommend that employers encourage employees who travel to work to choose modes of transportation that limit close contact with others, such as biking, walking, or driving alone or with family members.

At this time, carpooling or sharing any public transportation is discouraged, particularly for persons with high-risk conditions. In a car, not only are contaminated respiratory droplets easily transferred but there are also multiple shared surfaces such as door handles and seat belt buckles.

If the high-risk individual lives in a current ‘hot spot’ or zone with high COVID-19 prevalence, the risk of catching coronavirus from an asymptomatic child passenger may be too great at this time. It’s not easy to know completely how much exposure risk a youngster, especially if the child comes from a different household. If you are not able to drop your child in your vehicle, keep in mind that it may be possible to establish greater physical space between seats on a bus — one that is not overcrowded — than in a carpool.