Tag: Americans

Millions of Americans travel for Thanksgiving, against advice of public health officials

Americans, millions of whom traveled against the advice of public health officials, tried to stay safe before they hunkered down with their families for Thanksgiving, a holiday remade by the pandemic as case numbers and death tolls rise.

Lily Roberts, 19, said she got tested for COVID-19 at San Francisco International Airport before driving home to Marin County in Northern California.

“I’m not worried about it because I’m not at risk,” Roberts said. “However, I do follow the rules and the precautions because of my parents. That’s why I’m getting tested because I do not want to bring it into my home.”

Thanksgiving travel traditionally comes with highs and lows but it’s even more fraught this year as travelers attempt to social distance while navigating crowds.

Lexi Cusano, 23, said Wednesday she encountered people standing too close in airport terminals, some not wearing masks or wearing them improperly, on her way from Miami to Hartford, Connecticut.

“It was just a little bit overwhelming and very shocking to me that people were just — you couldn’t move in a 6-foot radius without hitting someone or breathing in with a person next to you,” she said. “It was just a little bit crazy.”

She said travelers didn’t act any safer on the plane.

“People were just hanging out without their masks on,” said Cusano, who recently took a job in Miami. “I saw them walking back and forth from the bathroom, down the aisles, with no mask on, and I was like, this is a little bit ridiculous now.”

“You know, the main fear people have usually going on planes is: ‘Are we going to crash?’” she added. “But today, it was more like, ‘I’m breathing in the same air that’s been circulating in here and people are just being very irresponsible.’ So that was the main horror.”

Things appeared a bit cramped to Juan Mojuta who flew Wednesday night to Wilmington, North Carolina, from Arizona.

“The first flight was very claustrophobic,” Mojuta told WWAY-TV. “A lot of people. Very gathered. But the second flight wasn’t as bad.”

More than 12.7 million Americans have been diagnosed with the virus since the pandemic’s start earlier this year and deaths have topped 262,200, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Data shows the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the U.S. rose over the past two weeks from 127,487 on Nov. 11 to 175,809 on Thursday. The seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths rose from 1,044 to 1,658 over that time.

Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving, despite warning and pleas from elected and health officials in a number of states to stay home and keep holiday gatherings smaller than usual.

Cusano said she got tested at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut after landing and was told to expect results in two to three days.

Regardless of her test results, she said she plans to quarantine in Connecticut for a month or two to make sure

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VIRUS TODAY: Americans travel as Biden addresses nation

Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:

– Millions of Americans are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday despite warnings from health officials that family gatherings could make a bad situation worse.

– More people are applying for unemployment benefits as the economy remains burdened by the coronavirus. About 778,000 people applied for unemployment last week, the second straight week the number has risen.

– Authorities are desperately pleading with people to stay home for the holidays and dramatically increasing fines for businesses that break the rules. In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont says he will fine businesses $10,000 for violating virus restrictions.

THE NUMBERS: COVID-19 deaths have been shooting up all week. The average number per day is now over 1,600. The country is averaging 174,000 new cases of the virus per day.

QUOTABLE: “I don’t want to be South Dakota.” – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in saying he would not follow the lead of other Republican governors who resist mask mandates. He cited the grim statistics in South Dakota and the governor’s refusal to require masks.

ICYMI: The virus has scuttled a long-standing holiday tradition in the tiny Kansas town of Norcatur. In a decades-old tradition that evokes Norman Rockwell nostalgia, the whole town gathers for a potluck dinner at Christmastime and conducts a prize drawing for a plethora of donated meats, crafts and goodies. This year, it’s off.

ON THE HORIZON: President-elect Joe Biden is ramping up his response to the pandemic. He i s delivering a national Thanksgiving address in an attempt to unify the country in the face of the resurgent virus, and congressional leaders are waiting for his strategy for fighting the pandemic.

___

Find AP’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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Holiday Travel Drops as Americans Rethink a Comforting Ritual

Americans have agonized over Thanksgiving this year, weighing skyrocketing coronavirus numbers and blunt warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention against gathering with family for a traditional, carbohydrate-laden ritual.

The United States reported more than 2,200 virus-related deaths Tuesday alone, the highest daily total since May 6. The country’s seven-day average for new cases has also exceeded 175,000 for the first time.

Around 27% of Americans plan to dine with people outside their household, according to interviews conducted by the global data-and-survey firm Dynata at the request of The New York Times.

Views on whether to risk Thanksgiving gatherings appear to track closely with political views, with respondents identifying as Democrats far less likely to be planning a multihousehold holiday.

Megan Baldwin, 42, had planned to drive from New York to Montana to be with her parents, but last week, she canceled her plans.

“I thought I would get tested and take all the precautions to be safe, but how could I risk giving it to my parents, who are in their 70s?” she said, adding that they were not happy with the decision.

“All they want is to see their grandkids,” she said, “but I couldn’t forgive myself if we got them sick. It’s not worth it.”

Others decided to take the plunge, concluding that the emotional boost of being together outweighed the risk of becoming infected, after a grim and worrying year.

“We all agreed that we need this — we need to be together during this crazy, lonely time, and we are just going to be careful and hope that we will all be OK,” said Martha Dillon, who will converge with relatives from four states on her childhood home in Kentucky.

The AAA has forecast a 10% overall decline in Thanksgiving travel compared with last year, the largest year-on-year drop since the recession of 2008. But the change is far smaller, around 4.3%, for those traveling by car, who make up a huge majority of those who plan to travel — roughly 47.8 million people.

About 912,000 people were screened by the Transportation Security Administration on Tuesday, which was 1.5 million fewer people than were seen on the same day in 2019, according to federal data published Wednesday.

Airlines are struggling from a dramatic decline in demand that has forced them to drop flights and make big capacity cuts, said Katherine Estep, a spokeswoman for Airlines for America, an industry trade group.

“Currently, cancellations are spiking, and carriers are burning $180 million in cash every day just to stay operating,” she said. “The economic impact on U.S. airlines, their employees, travelers and the shipping public is staggering.”

Demand for travel by train is down more sharply, at about 20% of what it was last year, said Jason Abrams, a spokesman for Amtrak.

Susan Katz, 73, said she canceled plans to spend Thanksgiving with her daughter last Friday, after watching a monologue by Rachel Maddow, the MSNBC host, describing her partner’s bout of coronavirus and

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VIRUS TODAY: Americans travel as Biden addresses nation | Nation



Americans risk traveling over Thanksgiving despite warnings

Holiday travelers crowd the ticketing area of terminal one Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 at MSP in Minneapolis. Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving at the risk of pouring gasoline on the coronavirus fire, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household.




Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:

— Millions of Americans are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday despite warnings from health officials that family gatherings could make a bad situation worse.

— More people are applying for unemployment benefits as the economy remains burdened by the coronavirus. About 778,000 people applied for unemployment last week, the second straight week the number has risen.

— Authorities are desperately pleading with people to stay home for the holidays and dramatically increasing fines for businesses that break the rules. In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont says he will fine businesses $10,000 for violating virus restrictions.

THE NUMBERS: COVID-19 deaths have been shooting up all week. The average number per day is now over 1,600. The country is averaging 174,000 new cases of the virus per day.

QUOTABLE: “I don’t want to be South Dakota.” — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in saying he would not follow the lead of other Republican governors who resist mask mandates. He cited the grim statistics in South Dakota and the governor’s refusal to require masks.

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Americans defy pandemic, political leaders to travel for Thanksgiving

(Reuters) – Americans defied pleas from state and local officials to stay home for the Thanksgiving holiday in the face of the surging coronavirus pandemic, triggering fresh warnings from health officials with the release of vaccines still weeks away.

FILE PHOTO: Roberto Arias prepares a grave for burial at Woodlawn Cemetery during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Everett, Massachusetts, U.S., May 27, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden joined in the calls for safety, urging people to forgo big family gatherings, wear protective masks and maintain social distancing.[L1N2IB13S]

“I know we can and we will beat this virus,” Biden said in a speech delivered in a near-empty Wilmington, Delaware, theater to a handful of staffers and reporters wearing masks sitting inside socially distanced circles on the floor. Biden did not wear a mask.

“Life is going to return to normal. I promise you. This will happen. This will not last forever,” said Biden, a 78-year-old Democrat.

Deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 2,000 in a single day for the first time since May on Tuesday and hospitalizations reached a record 88,000 on Wednesday as the country recorded 2.3 million new infections in the past two weeks.

Spiraling infections typically result in a rising death toll weeks later. Coronavirus deaths reached 2,157 on Tuesday – one person every 40 seconds – with another 170,000 people infected, as millions of Americans disregarded official warnings and traveled for Thanksgiving.

Nearly 1 million passengers a day have been screened at airport security checkpoints for the past week, with Sunday’s total of 1.047 million being the highest number since the early days of the pandemic in mid-March.

‘WE WANT TO SEE THE FAMILY’

Daliza Rodriguez, a 33-year-old childhood educator, was traveling to Texas from New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Wednesday.

“We know we’re taking a risk but we want to see the family, and it has been a long time,” she said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, urged people to keep Thanksgiving gatherings as small as possible and stressed the need to “hang in there a bit longer.”

“If we do those things, we’re going to get through it. So that’s my final plea before the holiday,” Fauci told the ABC News program “Good Morning America” on Wednesday.

Families with university students have been forced to evaluate the risk of reuniting for Thanksgiving.

Francesca Wimer, a student at Northwestern University in Illinois, flew home to Washington wearing an N95 mask and a face shield and checked into a hotel for 14 days, quarantining to protect her parents and grandparents.

“She was returning to a vulnerable set of people. We didn’t trust that a test was enough,” said her mother, Cynthia Wimer.

Luke Burke, studying at Syracuse University in upstate New York, was planning to spend Thanksgiving with his family in New Jersey until his roommate tested positive last week.

“I’m sorry I can’t be there with my parents, but it’s the right

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Americans travel as Biden addresses nation

Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:



Holiday travelers crowd the ticketing area of terminal one Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 at MSP in Minneapolis. Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving at the risk of pouring gasoline on the coronavirus fire, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)


© Provided by Associated Press
Holiday travelers crowd the ticketing area of terminal one Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 at MSP in Minneapolis. Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving at the risk of pouring gasoline on the coronavirus fire, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)

— Millions of Americans are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday despite warnings from health officials that family gatherings could make a bad situation worse.

— More people are applying for unemployment benefits as the economy remains burdened by the coronavirus. About 778,000 people applied for unemployment last week, the second straight week the number has risen.

— Authorities are desperately pleading with people to stay home for the holidays and dramatically increasing fines for businesses that break the rules. In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont says he will fine businesses $10,000 for violating virus restrictions.

THE NUMBERS: COVID-19 deaths have been shooting up all week. The average number per day is now over 1,600. The country is averaging 174,000 new cases of the virus per day.

QUOTABLE: “I don’t want to be South Dakota.” — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in saying he would not follow the lead of other Republican governors who resist mask mandates. He cited the grim statistics in South Dakota and the governor’s refusal to require masks.

ICYMI: The virus has scuttled a long-standing holiday tradition in the tiny Kansas town of Norcatur. In a decades-old tradition that evokes Norman Rockwell nostalgia, the whole town gathers for a potluck dinner at Christmastime and conducts a prize drawing for a plethora of donated meats, crafts and goodies. This year, it’s off.

ON THE HORIZON: President-elect Joe Biden is ramping up his response to the pandemic. He i s delivering a national Thanksgiving address in an attempt to unify the country in the face of the resurgent virus, and congressional leaders are waiting for his strategy for fighting the pandemic.

___

Find AP’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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VIRUS TODAY: Americans travel as Biden addresses nation | National News



VIRUS TODAY: Americans travel as Biden addresses nation

Holiday travelers crowd the ticketing area of terminal one Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 at MSP in Minneapolis. Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving at the risk of pouring gasoline on the coronavirus fire, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household.




Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:

— Millions of Americans are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday despite warnings from health officials that family gatherings could make a bad situation worse.

— More people are applying for unemployment benefits as the economy remains burdened by the coronavirus. About 778,000 people applied for unemployment last week, the second straight week the number has risen.

— Authorities are desperately pleading with people to stay home for the holidays and dramatically increasing fines for businesses that break the rules. In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont says he will fine businesses $10,000 for violating virus restrictions.

THE NUMBERS: COVID-19 deaths have been shooting up all week. The average number per day is now over 1,600. The country is averaging 174,000 new cases of the virus per day.

QUOTABLE: “I don’t want to be South Dakota.” — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in saying he would not follow the lead of other Republican governors who resist mask mandates. He cited the grim statistics in South Dakota and the governor’s refusal to require masks.

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Travel Insurance Sales Rocket As Americans Ignore COVID Advice for Thanksgiving

An unlikely boom is happening in the U.S. travel insurance industry as people seeking holiday cheer are paying against the odds to protect their Thanksgiving trips.



a person standing in front of a window: A warning for travelers flying during the pandemic is posted at O'Hare International Airport on November 24, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Despite airports expecting fewer than half the number of travelers from last year's Thanksgiving holiday, this is still expected to be the busiest travel period since March when the COVID-19 pandemic became widespread in the United States.


© Scott Olson/Getty Images
A warning for travelers flying during the pandemic is posted at O’Hare International Airport on November 24, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Despite airports expecting fewer than half the number of travelers from last year’s Thanksgiving holiday, this is still expected to be the busiest travel period since March when the COVID-19 pandemic became widespread in the United States.

Data from insurance comparison website Squaremouth published by Reuters showed a 170 percent jump, compared with the same period in 2019, in the number of insurance plans bought for U.S. domestic Thanksgiving trips.

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Although overall numbers of travelers were down by around half from a year ago, in excess of 3 million people passed through U.S. airports over the weekend.

Squaremouth said the number of people seeking cover had increased 26 percent on last year.

The volume of people travellng runs at odds with advice from public health professionals. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious diseases expert, told CBS News that people traveling for the holidays “are going to get us into even more trouble than we’re in right now”.

The U.S. has hit almost 13 million coronavirus cases to date, and with a second wave threatening to overwhelm health services, daily death tolls have hit their highest levels since early May.

The Squaremouth data, which is based on all travel insurance policies purchased on its website between March 12 and November 9, said among those searching for cover, 40 percent of all Thanksgiving travelers specifically looked for COVID-19 cover. In previous years primary concerns were weather and financial defaults.

The data comes alongside a poll showing that people living in states which voted for President Donald Trump in the election are on average more likely to dismiss COVD-19 guidelines and celebrate Thanksgiving with people from outside their households, according to a survey.

A poll conducted by data and survey firm Dynata at the request of The New York Times found that Louisiana and Oklahoma are the top two states where people said they intend on mixing households over the holiday period, with 35 percent stating they will. South Carolina was third on 34 percent.

The results found that the entire top 10 states in which people are more likely to eat Thanksgiving dinner with those outside their own household all voted for Trump. Alabama, Tennessee, and Indiana are fourth, fifth and sixth respectively, followed by Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina and Kansas.

Although worrying in terms of public health, greater willingness to travel could be a bright spot for one sector. The numbers suggest a change in mood in the travel market, as widespread lockdowns have caused a dearth in demand for both domestic flights and foreign holidays.

Data released this week by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows the airlines sector has suffered a $118 billion net

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Covid-19 Live Updates: Thanksgiving Travel Drops as Americans Rethink Rituals

Here’s what you need to know:

Credit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

Americans have agonized over Thanksgiving this year, weighing skyrocketing case numbers and blunt warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention against the need, after a grim and worrying year, to gather with family for a traditional, carbohydrate-laden ritual.

Around 27 percent of Americans plan to dine with people outside their household, according to interviews conducted by the global data-and-survey firm Dynata at the request of The New York Times.

Views on whether to risk Thanksgiving gatherings appear to track closely with political views, with respondents identifying as Democrats far less likely to be planning a multihousehold holiday.

Megan Baldwin, 42, had planned to drive from New York to Montana to be with her parents, but last week, she canceled her plans.

“I thought I would get tested and take all the precautions to be safe, but how could I risk giving it to my parents, who are in their 70s?” she said, adding that they were not happy with the decision.

“All they want is to see their grandkids,” she said, “but I couldn’t forgive myself if we got them sick. It’s not worth it.”

Others decided to take the plunge, concluding that the emotional boost of being together outweighed the risk of becoming infected.

“We all agreed that we need this — we need to be together during this crazy, lonely time, and we are just going to be careful and hope that we will all be OK,” said Martha Dillon, who will converge with relatives from four different states on her childhood home in Kentucky.

Thanksgiving travel is clearly down compared with 2019.

The AAA has forecast a 10 percent overall decline in Thanksgiving travel compared with last year, the largest year-on-year drop since the recession of 2008. But the change is far smaller, around 4.3 percent, for those traveling by car, who make up a huge majority of those who plan to travel — roughly 47.8 million people.

About 917,000 people were screened by the Transportation Security Administration on Monday, less than half of the number seen on the same day in 2019, according to federal data published on Tuesday.

Airlines are struggling from a dramatic decline in demand that has forced them to drop flights and make big capacity cuts, said Katherine Estep, a spokeswoman for Airlines for America, an industry trade group. “Currently, cancelations are spiking, and carriers are burning $180 million in cash every day just to stay operating,” she said. “The economic impact on U.S. airlines, their employees, travelers and the shipping public is staggering.”

Demand for travel by train is down more sharply, at about 20 percent of what it was last year, said Jason Abrams, a spokesman for Amtrak.

Susan Katz, 73, said she canceled plans

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Millions of Americans move forward with travel plans despite calls for safety

Despite pleas from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and public health experts, millions took the skies to continue with their Thanksgiving travel plans.

What should have been a slow travel time for this holiday became one of the busiest this past weekend, as 3 million went through U.S. airports across the country. Data indicates these are the biggest traveling crowds since mid-March, according to Dee-Ann Durbin and David Koenig with AP News.

DANGEROUS LUNCH: A birthday lunch left 15 Texas relatives battling COVID-19 

Mayor Sylvester Turner had pleaded with Houstonians. “Don’t invite COVID for Thanksgiving dinner,” Turner said during a press conference last week on growing case numbers in Harris County.


In spite of warnings and recommendations from the CDC to reconsider holiday gatherings, travelers have not stayed home.

“One-third of parents believe the benefits of gathering the family together for Thanksgiving is worth the risk of catching or spreading Covid-19, according to a new poll published Monday,” wrote CNN’s Sandee LaMotte.

A poll from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at Michigan Medicine highlights “pandemic fatigue” as the culprit for families opting to move forward with gathering together.

According to the 1,500-plus participant poll, over half of parents stated it was important to continue with traditional family celebrations and that their children spend time with extended family.

“What is at stake is the increased chance of one of your loved ones becoming sick and then being hospitalized and dying around the holidays,” said Dr. Henry Walke, director of CDC’s Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections to CNN.

In the coming week, the forecast for traveling is expected to increase even further, according to Chris Isidore with CNN Business.

United Airlines did report seeing a slight increase in flight cancellations as the number of COVID-19 cases rose around the nation.

“Do we want to see them travel? Yes, but only if it’s safe for them,” Nick Calio, CEO of Airlines for America said, according to Isidore. “There’s a variety of factors involved in that for each individual traveler.”

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