More than three million people were screened at TSA checkpoints over the weekend as Americans ignored CDC guidance not to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday.
The TSA said it screened 1.047 million passengers across the country on Sunday alone.
The number of air travelers is still about 60 percent lower than the same date last year but Sunday was the second time in three days that passengers screened topped one million.
It is the highest number since March 16 when 1.3 million passengers were screened at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘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.
In total, more than three million people were screened at TSA checkpoints from Friday to Sunday.
The TSA said it screened 1.047 million passengers across the country on Sunday, which is the highest number since March 16 when 1.3 million passengers were screened at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured is Miami International Airport on Sunday
One-third of parents say spending Thanksgiving with family is ‘worth the risk’
One in three parents believe the benefits of gathering family for Thanksgiving is worth the risk of COVID-19, a new poll finds.
This is in spite of three-quarters of parents saying they typically have extended family members at their holiday dinners and 90% who said grandparents are also in attendance.
The team, from Michigan’s CS Mott Children’s Hospital, says the findings show some parents’ unwillingness to forego holiday traditions could lead to an outbreak.
The CDC issued guidance late last week strongly recommending that Americans do not travel during the Thanksgiving holiday to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as cases, hospitalizations and death spike across the country.
The US has so far in November recorded more than 3 million COVID-19 cases, which accounts for a quarter of the 12 million infections tallied throughout the pandemic.
There were 142,732 new cases reported yesterday and hospitalizations surged to a record 83,870 across the country.
The daily death toll was at 919 yesterday – marking the first time in six days that fatalities haven’t topped 1,400. There is often a lag in weekend reporting, which can account for low numbers at the beginning of each week.
The rolling seven-day average for deaths is currently 1,500, which is the highest since mid-May during the initial peak of the virus.
Some health experts have warned that deaths, which are a lagging indicator and can rise weeks after cases, will top 2,000 per day in the coming weeks.
More than 256,000 Americans have now died of COVID-19 since the pandemic first broke out.
It comes as US surgeon general Jerome Adams warned today that the country is currently ‘at a dire point’ due to the rising infections, deaths and hospitalizations.
‘Cases, positivity, hospitalizations, deaths – we are seeing more Americans negatively impacted than ever before. But I also want Americans to understand that we’ve never had more reason for hope, thanks to science,’ he told ABC’s Good Morning America.
‘We’re going to have people, the vulnerable, start to be vaccinated in mere weeks. So I’m asking Americans, I’m begging you, hold on just a little bit longer, keep Thanksgiving and the celebrations small and smart this year.’
The Midwest continues to experience one of the most dramatic increases in cases per capita.
North Dakota, Wyoming and South Dakota are currently the top three worst-affected states in the country for infections.
North Dakota has had the most new infections per capita in the last week with 167 infections per 100,000 people, according to CDC data.
Wyoming ranks second with 136 cases per 100,000 and South Dakota is third with 130 infections per capita.
Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana, Iowa, New Mexico and Utah have all had more than 100 cases per 100,000 people in the last week.
Health officials have warned that the burgeoning wave of infections could soon overwhelm the healthcare system if people do not follow public health guidance, particularly around not traveling and mingling with other households for Thanksgiving.
The CDC issued guidance late last week strongly recommending Americans not to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Pictured is Fort Lauderdale airport on Sunday
Huge crowds were spotted at Chicago’s O’Hare airport on Friday – just one day after the CDC issued guidance urging Americans not to travel
Passengers are seen at the San Francisco International Airport on Friday
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Monday pleaded with people to ‘do the right thing’.
‘Keep Thanksgiving small, don’t travel. There’s a huge amount of personal responsibility here, everybody has to do the right thing,’ Murphy told ABC’s Good Morning America.
‘We’ve got a vortex here; cold weather, people letting their hair down with fatigue and holiday after holiday.
‘We’re pleading with people – please God, do the right thing.’
It comes as a new poll showed that one in three parents believe family holiday gatherings is worth the risk amid the pandemic.
‘Our report suggests that while many children have spent less time with relatives during the pandemic, some parents may have a hard time foregoing holiday gatherings in order to reduce COVID-19 risks,’ Sarah Clark, co-director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at Michigan Medicine, said.
Dr Anthony Fauci urged Americans to look at the bigger picture before they travel or make plans for the holidays.
‘I think the people in this country need to realistically do a risk-benefit assessment,’ the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told NBC anchor Chuck Todd on Meet the Press.
‘Every family is different. Everyone has a different level of risk that they want to tolerate.
‘But when you think of the holiday season and the congregating indoors at what are innocent, lovely functions, like meals with family and friends, you have got to at least think in terms of evaluating, do you have people in your family that are elderly, that might have underlying conditions, like someone on chemotherapy, or other things that weaken their immune system?’
There were 142,732 new cases reported yesterday. The US has so far in November recorded more than 3 million COVID-19 cases, which accounts for a quarter of the 12 million infections tallied so far
The daily death toll was at 919 – marking the first time in six days fatalities haven’t topped 1,400. There is often a lag in weekend reporting, which can account for low numbers at the beginning of each week
Hospitalizations surged to yet another record high with 83,870 patients across the country yesterday
Fauci said that families should also consider the areas people would be traveling from.
‘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.
While recognizing that some will host guests this holiday season, Fauci said they should ‘at least give you and your family the benefit of having considered what is the risk-benefit of doing that’.
Still, video footage on Twitter showed more than a hundred people, wearing masks, crowding departure gates at Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday.
Lines for TSA checkpoints and kiosks at Chicago O’Hare airport were also long.
The CDC’s Thanksgiving warning is some of the firmest guidance yet from the federal government on curtailing traditional gatherings to fight the outbreak.
Dr Erin Sauber-Schatz, of the CDC, cited the more than 1 million new cases in the US over a one-week period as the reason for the new guidance.
‘The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with the people in your household,’ she said on Thursday.
The CDC is warning that large indoor household gatherings this holiday season could make the situation even worse.
The CDC has advised against gathering with anyone who has not lived in the same household for at least 14 days, which is the incubation period for COVID-19.
If families do decide to include returning college students, military members or others for turkey and stuffing, the CDC is recommending that the hosts take added precautions: Gatherings should be outdoors if possible, with people keeping 6 feet apart and wearing masks and just one person serving the food.
North Dakota has had the most new infections per capita in the last week with 167 infections per 100,000 people, according to CDC data
Wyoming is currently ranked the second worst state in the country with 136 cases per 100,000
South Dakota is now third with 130 infections per capita
US screens highest number of airline passengers since March – Daily Mail