DESPITE warnings against traveling for Thanksgiving due to coronavirus, more than three million passengers were screened by TSA over the weekend before the holiday.
The number of people screened from Friday to Sunday was the highest figure since March 16 when TSA screened 1.3 million travelers before the widespread Covid-19 outbreak, according to The Daily Mail.
“It was the highest since the steep decline due to the pandemic and the second time in three days that checkpoint volume surpassed 1 million,” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said.
Sunday’s TSA screening figure of 1.047 million passengers was about 60 percent less than the same day last year.
The spike in holiday travel comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance last week strongly recommending that Americans refrain from traveling over Thanksgiving to help stop the spread of Covid-19 as the US experiences record numbers of cases and more hospitalizations.
"As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with," the CDC said in a statement.
"Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year."
So far this month, the US has logged more than three million coronavirus cases, which is about a quarter of the total infections since the beginning of the pandemic.
On Sunday, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, urged Americans to think about the risks of traveling for Thanksgiving and “make their own decision” about holiday gatherings.
“I think the people in this country need to realistically do a risk-benefit assessment,” Fauci told NBC.
“Every family is different. Everyone has a different level of risk that they want to tolerate.”
Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, also said Americans should think about how personal travel could expose other people to Covid-19.
"Do you really want to get a crowd of 10, 15, 20 people, many of whom are coming in from places where they have gone from crowded airports, to planes, getting into the house?" he said.
However, one in three parents think that spending Thanksgiving with the family is worth the risk amid the pandemic, according to a poll by CS Mott Children’s Hospital in Michigan.
Additionally, 90 percent of parents said they usually have grandparents at holiday dinners and three-quarters of parents said extended family members join in the gatherings.
As of Monday afternoon, more than 12 million Americans have been infected with Covid-19 and more than 255,000 have died, according to the CDC.
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