| USA TODAY
COVID-19: CDC still urges Americans not to travel during holidays
The CDC just sliced the recommended quarantine time in half for some cases of exposure to COVID-19.
Nearly 1.3 million people traveled through American airports Sunday, setting a pandemic travel record – despite warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stay at home to quell coronavirus cases.
The Transportation Security Administration said it screened 1,284,599 people, many of whom were returning from holiday travel. That beats the TSA’s previous record of 1,191,123, set Dec. 23. On Saturday, 1,128,773 people passed through TSA security checkpoints.
Sunday was the sixth day of the Christmas holiday rush to see screenings exceed 1 million a day. Many people began their travel last weekend, when the TSA screened more than a million passengers a day Dec. 18-20.
As of Monday, the U.S. has more than 19 million cases of the coronavirus and 333,140 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data.
CDC to Americans: Avoid travel during winter holiday season, get COVID-19 tests if you do
The CDC had urged Americans not to travel for the winter holidays, just as it did before Thanksgiving.
“The best thing for Americans to do in the upcoming holiday season is to stay at home and not travel,” Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager, said in a news briefing in early December. “Cases are rising. Hospitalizations are increasing, Deaths are increasing. We need to try to bend the curve, stop this exponential increase.”
The CDC recommends that any one who did travel get tested for the coronavirus one to three days before their trips as well as three to five days afterward, and reduce nonessential activities for seven days after travel, Walke said. Those who do not get tested should reduce nonessential activities for 10 days after travel, the agency said.
Testing does not eliminate travel risk, Walke said, but when combined with reducing nonessential activities and other precautions, it can make travel safer, he said.
Before it stepped up advice on not traveling during the holidays, the CDC had given only general advice on travel during the pandemic: “Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.”
Contributing: Dawn Gilbertson
Travelers continue to ignore CDC advice: TSA screened pandemic record 1.19 million travelers Wednesday