- According to Insider polling from November 20 to 21, nearly one in five respondents canceled their pre-made Thanksgiving travels plans as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- Additionally, nearly 19% of respondents reported Thanksgiving travel plans which include either driving or flying.
- Around the country, ICU beds in hospitals are increasingly reaching capacity and experts are concerned that the odds of a post-Thanksgiving coronavirus spike are “extremely high.”
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As COVID-19 cases continue to soar across the US, many Americans have chosen to stay home for Thanksgiving to help prevent spreading the virus any further.
According to recent polling from Insider and SurveyMonkey, 19% of survey respondents previously had plans to travel for Thanksgiving which have since been canceled. Another nearly 19% of respondents noted that they currently have plans to drive or fly to reach their final holiday destination.
On November 19, the Center for Disease Control recommended Americans stay home for the holiday to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
But while close to one in five people are estimated to have canceled their preexisting travel plans as a precautionary measure, polling shows that 57% of respondents will be celebrating Thanksgiving with at least one additional household.
This breakdown comes from a SurveyMonkey Audience poll taken between November 20 and November 21. The poll collected 1,110 respondents who were asked about their plans for the Thanksgiving holiday, COVID-19, as well as a number of other questions.
With just one day remaining until Thanksgiving, many ICU beds in hospitals have reached capacity, especially in rural areas where some hospitals have sent their sickest patients to cities where there is more bed space.
The US has a greater number of cases and deaths than any other in the world, and as of November 25, 2020, there have been 259,979 deaths in the United States attributed to the virus, according to the Coronavirus Research Center at the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
Many experts are concerned that if enough Americans ignore the CDC recommendations and travel, the country may see a large increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Dr. David Rubin, the director of PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told the Associated Press that the risks of a post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 spike are “extremely high.”
“I can’t speculate on what people are going to do,” he said to the Associated Press. “But I can say that to the degree that there isn’t a collective buy-in here, it sort of blunts the impact of the measures themselves.”
According to previous Insider reporting and data from the Transportation Security Administration, more than three million people traveled through US airports between November 20 through November 22, the weekend before Thanksgiving. Though more than experts would prefer, the AP reported that travel is down by more than 50% compared to 2019.
SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Polling data collected 1,110 respondents November 21-22. All polls carried approximately a 3 percentage point margin of error individually.