More Than 3M Went Through US Airports Over the Weekend

It was the busiest weekend since mid-March
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 23, 2020 2:01 PM CST
Airports Just Had Their Busiest Weekend Since March
Travelers leave the AirTrain at JFK International Airport Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in New York.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

More than 1 million Americans a day packed airports and planes over the weekend even as coronavirus deaths surged across the US and public health experts begged people to stay home and avoid big Thanksgiving gatherings. And the crowds are only expected to grow. Next Sunday is likely to be the busiest day of the holiday period. The number of people flying for Thanksgiving is down by more than half from last year because of the rapidly worsening outbreak. However, the 3 million who went through US airport checkpoints from Friday through Sunday marked the biggest crowds since mid-March, when the COVID-19 crisis took hold in the United States, the AP reports.

Many travelers are unwilling to miss out on seeing family and are convinced they can do it safely. Also, many colleges have ended their in-person classes, propelling students to return home. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans not to travel or spend the holiday with people outside their household. New cases of the virus in the US have rocketed to all-time highs, averaging more than 170,000 per day. "There is so much community transmission all over the United States that the chances of you encountering somebody that has COVID-19 is actually very, very high, whether it’s on an airplane, at the airport, or at a rest area," says Dr. Syra Madad, an infectious-disease epidemiologist for New York City hospitals.

(More Thanksgiving stories.)

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