Health officials eye potential rise in COVID-19 cases following Thanksgiving travel
Officials in New Jersey and across the country are concerned about surging coronavirus cases after the Thanksgiving holiday.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encouraged people not to travel, the airports were still very busy on Sunday.
The Sunday after Thanksgiving is typically one of the busiest travel days of the year and one wouldn't know that there was a pandemic when looking at the traffic at Newark Airport.
It was extremely busy at the airport all day, even though the CDC recommended people not to travel as many hospitals around the country are reaching capacity.
More than 91,000 Americans were hospitalized with the virus on Saturday, the highest number yet.
Some holiday travelers whom News 12 New Jersey spoke to say they weren't letting the virus get in the way of their holiday plans.
"There was a concern. I did get tested before I came and I got tested while I was here, and they were both negative," said Kathleen Dengler, who was traveling back home to Denver after a weekend in New Jersey visiting family for Thanksgiving. She added that she took precautions while traveling at home to keep her and her family safe. "There was a lot more social distancing than usual, there wasn't as much hugs and all that fun stuff."
Doctor are urging those who traveled to take precautions.
"Decrease the unnecessary activity. If you have necessary activities, of course. But you've had a time where you could have been exposed, make really sure you adhere 100% to mask wearing, to avoiding crowds because you could inadvertently gotten COVID and spread it," said Adm. Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health.
While officials say traveling is putting oneself and loved ones at risk for catching the virus, those News 12 New Jersey spoke to say it was a risk they were willing take to be able to spend the holiday with their families.
Officials also recommend getting a COVID-19 test before and after traveling.
And there is hope on the horizon as the first of the coronavirus vaccines are expected to be administered next month.