(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The holiday rush is officially on with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announcing Monday it screened three million flyers due to increased travel.
The TSA previously announced it screened 1,019,836 flyers on Friday and an additional 984,369 on Saturday. Sunday saw the highest number: 1,047,934 people — which is now the highest number of passengers since mid-March.
Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager, strongly discourages holiday travel in light of surging COVID-19 cases.
“It’s not a requirement, it’s a recommendation for the American public to consider,” said Walke. “Right now, as we’re seeing exponential growth in cases and the opportunity to translocate disease or infection from one part of the country to another leads to our recommendation to avoid travel at this time.”
In addition, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adam said the nation is at a “dire point” in its fight against COVID-19 and, despite promising news about potential vaccines, Adam said on Good Morning America, “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.”
As for numbers being reported across the nation, Maryland says it has suffered 19 straight days of over 1,000 new positive cases, with hospitalizations increasing by 80 percent — 29 hospitals are currently operating at 90 percent capacity.
North Carolina reported a new daily high in COVID-19 cases: 2,419 cases and 1,601 hospitalizations on Monday. Due to the surging numbers, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced a stricter mask mandate — saying masks need to be worn by residents who are interacting with people who don’t live in their household.
Pennsylvania also announced the alarming news that the state could run out of ICU beds by next week. Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine confirms, “This week’s data, in terms of hospitalization increase, an increase in the use of ventilators, case increase and percent positivity are worrisome.”
In Ohio, the state also reported a record high in new daily cases, with 11,800 positive results announced Monday — and the state is bracing for an even higher number due to the upward trend.
COVID-19 has, as of Monday, infected nearly 12.4 million Americans and killed over 257,000 according to Johns Hopkins University.