Topline About a million people have passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints in each of the past six days, putting the week before Christmas on track to be the busiest since the start of the pandemic at one point where coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths are at their highest. Holidaymakers wearing masks are seen at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in … [+] Arlington, Virginia, USA, December 23, 2020. Xinhua News Agency / Getty Images Key Facts According to data from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), more than 6.3 million Americans have passed through checkpoints in security since last Friday. Wednesday has become the busiest day for air travel since the start of the pandemic with 1.2 million people passing through checkpoints. The weekend before Christmas has beaten both the weekends before and after Thanksgiving, which, at around 3 million and 2 million, respectively, were previously the busiest travel days in the pandemic. On average, the number of people passing through airport security checkpoints is still more than 50% lower than in 2019. Key Context Like the Thanksgiving holidays, the strong recommendation from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the winter holiday season has been nix travel plans. While planes have strong air circulation and filtration systems, making it difficult for viruses and germs to spread, the CDC warns that the process of theft – waiting in security lines, airport terminals or potentially exposing yourself to excessively congested flights – can increase your risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19. “The tragedy that could arise is that one of your family members, by getting together in this family reunion, could end up hospitalized and seriously ill and die,” said Dr Henry Walke, responsible for coronavirus incidents of the CDC. Those who travel should seek a Covid-19 test before and after travel, according to the advice. Health experts have repeatedly warned that the winter months could be devastating, with the country already breaking its own records of hospitalizations, deaths and new reported cases. Large number 3,411. That’s the number of Americans who died from Covid-19 on Wednesday, the second deadliest day of the pandemic. Further Reading “Vacation Travel Breaks Pandemic Record Despite Covid Warnings” (Forbes) “Millions of Americans Ignored Public Health Warnings to Travel for Thanksgiving, Data Shows” (Forbes) Full Coverage and Updates live update on the coronavirus.
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