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Millions traveling this holiday season despite the risk of COVID-19



(photo by Peter Heeling,

Despite calls from health officials to stay home this holiday season, millions of Americans are traveling to see friends and family.

About a million people a day have passed through airports over the last six days, according to the Transportation Security Administration. While the number of air travelers is smaller by half from last years, they still represent a marked increase over the numbers just a few weeks ago.

In addition, AAA expects more than 85 million travelers will be on the road between now and the first week of January.

In the midst of an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, health officials have repeatedly warned that gathering in groups outside immediate family and households presents a high risk of spreading the virus further. The expectation is that a renewed surge of cases will be seen in January due to travel and family gatherings for Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

If you must travel to see friends and family this holiday season, experts advise wearing a mask whenever possible, observing 6 feet of social distancing and washing your hands often to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Remember that people do not have to have symptoms of COVID-19 to be infected and contagious.

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