The current state of the nation is in crisis due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Those over the age of 60 with compromised immune systems pose a higher risk for contracting the illness. This can be extremely worrying for those who are not physically local to their senior parents or elderly loved ones. So how do you transport your loved one state to state or long distance and are in need of a non-emergency medical transport?

What if they NEED to be closer to loved ones because of health reasons during this difficult time? Are there Long Distance, State to State Medical Transport Companies out there?

Traveling is already stressful, especially if you are preparing for a long distance medical transportation for a sick or injured loved one. If you are not physically close or living in another city or state, you can feel at a loss of how to meet their needs. It is difficult to prepare for the unexpected, fortunately, there are many things that you can do to prepare for a long distance trip to help ease the pains that travel can bring. This article helps to break down COVID-19 and how to travel during this uncertain time.

How to safely transport my elderly parent state-to-state during a national crisis

First, What IS COVID-19 and how is it spread?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. COVID-19 is officially a global pandemic. The virus is contagious and no vaccine is currently available, but researchers across the global are working on a vaccine and medical treatment. 

  • People over 60 and anyone with immunodeficiency are particularly vulnerable should limit exposure by staying home as much as possible.
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

What happens if you have COVID-19?

Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others; therefore, it is recommended by the CDC that these patients remain in isolation or are quarantined at a hospital or at home (depending on the severity of symptoms) so they don’t pass the illness to others. 

How long do you have to stay in isolation?

Usually, just like a normal flu, symptoms and length of sickness can vary from person to person. Once someone is able to be released they need to meet the following criteria and once released they are not considered to pose any additional risk of infection to others. The information from the CDC notes:

  • The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
  • The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.

Can we travel on a long distance medical transport state to state or across the United States during this uncertain time?

At this time, there are no travel bans state-to-state within the US. The CDC does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States. However, you are not recommended to travel if you suspect or have tested positive for this illness.  

There are increasing cases of corona-virus disease (COVID-19) reported in many states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. If you are traveling state-to-state – the chances of coming into contact with COVID-19 may be increased in crowded travel settings, such as airports, trains, or taking a taxi in large congested communities. 

At Med Transport Center, we take travel seriously and we know that sometimes travel is needed to move your senior loved one. There are several things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for your loved one to travel especially if they are over 60.

Is COVID-19 spreading in the area where you’re going?

Check local health departments to determine if COVID-19 is spreading at your destination. If you need to move your loved one to an assisted living or nursing facility in another state, check with administration if an outbreak has occurred at the location and the steps taken if one occurs. If there are active cases within a place you have planned to move, consider an alternative arrangement at a different facility or at a family home until the COVID-19 has subsided in the senior community. 

Will your senior loved one or travel companion(s) be in close contact with others during your state-to-state trip?

Risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like coronavirus may increase in crowded settings.  Med Transport Center has strict standards for hygienic and non-emergency medical needs for elderly transportation.  We provide 1-2 drivers with an on-board nurse to medically transport elderly patients quickly and efficiently. Two sinks are offered to maintain cleanliness and hand washing best practices. We provide a separate kitchen and private bathroom. Medical equipment is sterilized/sterile and maintained prior to every transport. We maintain a clean environment with washing hands frequently, using hand sanitizer and provide an onboard bathroom and meal station to limit exposure for long distance travel during your loved ones medical transportation.

Making frequent stops can increase chances of spreading the illness to others. We are able to keep your loved one contained away from others and minimize stops for only gas to transport them safely to their destination. Med Transport Center is taking necessary steps to protect patient’s during long distance medical transports. – click here to review.

Are you or your travel companion(s) more likely to get severe illness if you get COVID-19?

People at higher risk for severe disease are older adults over age 60 and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes). CDC recommends that travelers at higher risk for COVID-19 complications avoid all cruise travel and nonessential air travel. 

Med Transport Center offers travel through clean and comfortable accommodations in a MedCoach that is fully equipped to support clean travel for elderly patients or MedFlight to accommodate faster travel with limited exposure to crowded air travel.

What if you are sick with COVID-19, can you travel? 

If you suspect you have COVID-19, contact your primary doctor for further recommendations. It is recommended that those experiencing symptoms stay at home for 14 days for self-monitoring or if you get sick with COVID-19 and symptoms are no longer present. This helps to prevent you from symptoms worsening and passing the illness to others. Contact our reservationist (800-311-3412) if you suspect you may have COVID-19 and have an upcoming travel planned.

Depending on the needs of your senior loved one, you may choose to delay or cancel plans until more information is presented on COVID-19. If you plan to travel, be sure to review how to prevent the spread as some may be potential carriers without realizing they have the illness. 

Review how Med Transport Center is taking necessary steps to protect patient transports and how long distance transport with qualified professionals that are taking the necessary precautions to keep your loved one safe during this uncertain time. 

For the most up-to-date COVID-19 travel information, visit CDC COVID-19 Travel page.

Prepare for safe travel in 5 Steps

When traveling with an elderly or disabled loved one, one of the best things you can do when you’re packing for a long distance trip is to make sure you use packing organizers or a type of packing system. Click here for our Free Travel Checklist.

Step 1: Choose Your Main Luggage and Carry-On Luggage

Step 2: Organize Your Personal Belongings

Keeping their suitcase organized with packing organizers means not only will you know exactly where everything is, but clothing can be arranged and compressed so you can fit more in their bag.

Make a list of essentials items for main luggage:Travel checklist

  • Shirts
  • Pants
  • Jackets or Cover-ups
  • Socks / Shoes
  • Undergarments
  • Toiletries
  • Important documents
  • Cash, Credit Cards or Checks
  • Electronics – Cell Phone, charger
  • Entertainment – Cards, books, etc.

Step 3: Pack Your Toiletry Bag

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash
  • Hair brush or comb, hair ties, barrettes/bobby pins
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Sunscreen and face lotion with SPF
  • Make up 
  • Face wash and/or makeup remover wipes and q-tips
  • Moisturizer/LotionLip balm with SPF or lipstick/lip gloss
  • Personal or Feminine hygiene items
  • Extra contacts, solution, and contact case
  • Glasses / Prescription sunglasses
  • Prescription medication with Label / Script

Toiletry Bag Extras

  • Cologne/perfume
  • Personal mini mirror
  • Hair products like hairspray, hair gel and beard oil
  • Shaving kit and extra razors
  • Sewing kit/clothing care kit, stain remover
  • Facial tissues and/or toilet paper
  • Travel towel
  • Scissors, nail clippers, and tweezers

Step 4: Prepare Your Personal Item Carry-On Bag 

  • Medication
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Laptop, iPad, or E-reader and charger(s)
  • Headphones
  • Travel pillow, blanket, eye mask, and ear plugs
  • Lotion and chapstick
  • Journal and pen
  • Books, crosswords and magazines
  • Deck of cards and travel games
  • Water / Snacks

Step 5: Collect Important Travel Documents, Cash, and Credit Cards

  • Important documents
  • Health insurance cards, medical document(s) and prescriptions
  • Doctors and loved ones contact information
  • Cash and credit card(s)

Med Transport Center offers two options for non-emergency long-distance medical transportation by ground (MED Coach) or in flight (MED Flight). We are dedicated to providing a safe, comfortable journey with each ground or in flight transport. Over the last 30+ years, we provide luxury accommodations that support disabled or special needs patients. Our transportation service is designed for anyone who has increased medical needs or limited mobility, including the elderly, disabled, or even those who are just needing a little assistance during their travel. We provide a comfortable option in a luxury RV with a kitchen, meal options, hospital-grade bed, and options for an additional family member or pet to join the senior loved one for the trip. Our expert professionals coordinate the trip for your loved one while all you will have to do is call to make arrangements. 

Each transport is medically-equipped for non-emergency transports state to state, offers 2 professional drivers, a licensed nurse and a 24 hour on-call emergency physician in case the need arises. Furthermore, our utmost priority is to make sure that your loved one will safely get to his or her destination. Review our comparison report for national transportation companies.

Call or submit a quote request today.