How risky is it to visit Indiana this holiday season?

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INDIANAPOLIS — Forbes is ranking Indiana the 4th riskiest state in the country to visit over Christmas. The report takes into consideration new daily cases, positivity rate and COVID-19 restrictions in each state.

AAA estimates more than 84 million Americans will travel through Christmas and new years this year— going against health expert COVID-19 recommendations.

“The last thing you want to do is get on a plane or travel otherwise and get it from somebody and give it to your family members,” said Regenstrief President Peter Embi.

He said he wasn’t surprised Forbes ranked Indiana the fourth riskiest state to visit in the country. Tennessee is number one.

“It doesn’t surprise me in the sense that across the midwest and particularly here in Indiana we have been seeing a lot of surging,” said Embi.

He doesn’t recommend gathering with anyone outside of your household this holiday season.

“If you can’t, please take every precaution, wearing the best mask you can with the best filtering, minimizing contact with others, minimizing your time indoors,” said Embi.

Though Indiana is higher than most. Only one state— Vermont— isn’t in the high risk category according to this Forbes map.

“I think in actuality things are leveling off,” said Dr. Tom Huth, Vice President of Reid Health in Indiana. “But that’s a different question from how risky is it to be in Indiana? I think it really depends on where you go.”

Huth said no matter where you are this holiday— size of the gathering matters.

“First of all, they have to be small,” said Huth.

He said most of his family is gathering online this week.

“That’s this year, next year it’ll be different, I’m almost sure of that,” said Huth.

He emphasized “almost” because it depends on how quickly we can get the vaccine, how many people adopt it, and whether precautions like the ones recommended over the holidays are taken.

“In the absence of all of that we are going to have wave after wave that was the experience with the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, there were three years really of wave after wave,” said Huth.

The CDC has put out much more guidance on holiday gatherings online.

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