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Air Travel Hits Pandemic-Era High as Holiday Ends

Airport traffic hit another coronavirus-era high Sunday as the Thanksgiving holiday came to a close, as travelers continue to shun expert advice to stay put amid the worsening pandemic.

The Transportation Security Administration screened 1,176,091 people Sunday at U.S. airports, topping the previous high of 1,070,967 set just days earlier on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.

By comparison, the total of 2,882,915 screened on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2019 was the largest in TSA history. Though predictably far less this year, Sunday was nevertheless the busiest day at the nation’s airports since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March, TSA announced Monday.

Additionally, Sunday’s total was the fourth time in the past week and a half that the daily TSA number exceeded one million. Before then, TSA checkpoints have only once seen more than one million passengers since March 16, WUSA-TV (Channel 9) reported.

Millions chose to travel for the holiday despite strong recommendations against doing so by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Medical experts have subsequently urged those who did to get tested, particularly those 65 and older who have been exposed and are showing symptoms.

As of Monday, the U.S. has approximately 13.4 million coronavirus cases and 267,000 related deaths — both tops globally — according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.

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