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CDC urges Americans to avoid travel during winter holiday season

CDC urges Americans to avoid travel during winter holiday season
Posted at 10:25 AM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 13:25:57-05

Echoing sentiments shared before Thanksgiving, the CDC is pleading with Americans to stay home this holiday season to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"The best thing for Americans to do in the upcoming holiday season is to stay at home and not travel,'' said Dr. Henry Walke, CDC's COVID-19 incident manager, during a news briefing Wednesday.

"Cases are rising. Hospitalizations are increasing, Deaths are increasing. We need to try to bend the curve, stop this exponential increase,'' Walke continued.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had similar advice ahead of Thanksgiving, and still the TSA reported some of the highest rates of passengers since the pandemic started in the few days ahead of the holiday. On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the TSA screened 1.17 million travelers, a record high since the pandemic started.

For those who decide to travel, the CDC now recommends people get tested for COVID-19 both before and after their trips. Their guidance is to test one to three days before travel and again three to five days after travel. They also strongly recommend reducing nonessential activities and quarantining for several days around travel.

Health experts, including the White House coronavirus task force is urging those who don’t get tested to act like they could be infectious and quarantine after travel to reduce the potential spread.

Walke said the CDC expects to see an increase in the already high level of coronavirus cases in the next few days from Thanksgiving travel.

There have been more than 13.7 million positive cases of coronavirus in this country since the pandemic started, more than 180,000 new cases were recorded December 2. More than 271,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.