Tag: Expected

COVID New York: Concerns high with busiest travel day expected Sunday

NEW YORK (WABC) — Sunday could be the busiest travel day since the coronavirus pandemic began, causing concern for local leaders and health officials.

The majority of travelers will be heading home from the Thanksgiving holiday and that means another very busy day for airports among COVID concerns.

Nationwide, 6 million people flew to a destination for Thanksgiving.

The Port Authority reported half a million people passing through their airports and reported screening more than 800,000 people on Friday alone.

Even so that’s a decrease of more than 70% compared to the same five-day period last year when more than 1.7 million air travelers passed through Port Authority’s facilities.

RELATED | Illegal club with nearly 400 people inside shut down

While masks were required, social distancing on airplanes and through security lines was very tough to do.

That could potentially assist rising COVID rates in New York and around the country.

This comes as the state’s rolling positivity rate is just shy of 4%, but given the increased out of state travel a further spike is expected.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has required all people coming back from holiday travel to quarantine for three days until they can get tested.

Of course a test was required before they left, however, officials are still expecting a further spike in numbers with all the post-Thanksgiving weekend travel.

If you are flying back into New York’s airports on Sunday, you may find the National Guard waiting for you.

MORE NEWS: “COVID tested” flights to take off from JFK, Newark airports next month

New York state is requiring all travelers coming in to fill out contract tracing forms upon landing at your destination and where you plan to quarantine or face up to $10,000 in fines.

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Thanksgiving week air travel is expected to set a pandemic-era record despite calls to stay home

Thanksgiving week air travel is expected to remain strong enough to set a pandemic-era record despite urging from federal health officials to spend the holiday at home.



a group of people walking down the street: Millions of passengers have passed through US airport security in the last week, according to the TSA.


© David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Millions of passengers have passed through US airport security in the last week, according to the TSA.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Americans to not travel for Thanksgiving last week — but that didn’t stop more than 1 million travelers from passing through US airport security on Sunday and more than 900,000 on Tuesday, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Since the CDC issued that warning, nearly 5 million people have boarded airplanes. The agency receives passenger information from the airlines as part of its screening responsibilities, and the data does not show widespread cancellations in recent days, TSA spokesman Andy Post said.

From September to October, the number of scheduled available seats departing US airports was down nearly 50% compared to the same timeframe last year. Due to increased demand, that number is only down 39% for the Thanksgiving holiday period, according to Airlines for America, a trade association that represents major North American airlines.

Still, officials still expect Sunday — when everyone heads home from their holiday travels — to be the busiest day of travel since the pandemic began.

While the number of travelers passing through airport security on Sunday is concerning, many Americans are heeding the warnings from officials and health experts. Sixty-one percent of Americans said they changed their Thanksgiving plans, according to a poll released on Tuesday by Axios-Ipsos. More surprising is that nearly one in 10 Americans that were polled say they do not plan to celebrate the holiday at all.

The country added 172,935 new Covid-19 cases and had 2,146 reported deaths on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Tuesday also marks the fifth highest single day for new cases during the pandemic, and the US has posted over 100,000 new coronavirus cases for the 22nd consecutive day. The US is now averaging 174,225 new cases per day, which is up 11% from last week.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the percentage of available seats departing US airports. It is down 50% compared to the same timeframe last year.

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Thanksgiving week air travel is expected to set a pandemic era-record despite officials calls to stay home

Thanksgiving week air travel is expected to remain strong enough to set a pandemic era-record despite urging from federal health officials to spend the holiday at home.



a group of people walking down the street: Millions of passengers have passed through US airport security in the last week, according to the TSA.


© David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Millions of passengers have passed through US airport security in the last week, according to the TSA.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Americans to not travel for Thanksgiving last week — but that didn’t stop more than 1 million travelers from passing through US airport security on Sunday and more than 900,000 on Tuesday, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Since the CDC issued that warning, nearly 5 million people have boarded airplanes. The agency receives passenger information from the airlines as part of its screening responsibilities, and the data does not show widespread cancellations in recent days, TSA spokesman Andy Post said.

From September to October, the number of scheduled available seats departing US airports was up nearly 50% compared to the same timeframe last year. That number dropped down to nearly 39% for the Thanksgiving holiday period, according to Airlines for America, a trade association that represents major North American airlines.

Still, officials still expect Sunday — when everyone heads home from their holiday travels — to be the busiest day of travel since the pandemic began.

While the number of travelers passing through airport security on Sunday is concerning, many Americans are heeding the warnings from officials and health experts. Sixty-one percent of Americans said they changed their Thanksgiving plans, according to a poll released on Tuesday by Axios-Ipsos. More surprising is that nearly one in 10 Americans that were polled say they do not plan to celebrate the holiday at all.

The country added 172,935 new Covid-19 cases and had 2,146 reported deaths on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Tuesday also marks the fifth highest single day for new cases during the pandemic, and the US has posted over 100,000 new coronavirus cases for the 22nd consecutive day. The US is now averaging 174,225 new cases per day, which is up 11% from last week.

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Hawaii’s hotel industry is still struggling despite tourism reopening, and isn’t expected to break even in 2021

More than a year from now, Hawaii’s hotel industry won’t have stopped bleeding.

A new annual Hawaii hotel forecast prepared by STR for the Hawaii Tourism Authority estimates that by the end of 2021, statewide occupancy will have hit only 46.3%, still short of the 50% to 60% occupancy that the industry needs to break even.

Many of Hawaii’s hotels temporarily closed during the pandemic as government restrictions and fear of COVID-19 significantly reduced travel demand. Quite a number were open by Oct. 15, the start of the state’s pre-
arrival testing program under Safe Travels
Hawaii. But so far, Hawaii’s formal welcome-
back to travelers hasn’t filled hotel rooms to the degree that many had hoped.

About 75% of Hawaii hotels are operating again. Still, only about 1,000 out of 8,000 Unite Here Local 5 hotel members are back to work. Some 5,000 of them already have lost their health insurance, and most are facing the loss of other support programs just after Christmas.

Local 5 spokesman Bryant de Venecia said, “Most of our workers have lost health insurance. They really want to go back to work, but that’s really out of our control. We can’t control how many tourists will
occupy our hotels.”

“If we are going to recap 2020, we barely left square one. Our members are still struggling, still dealing with how to pay for rent and food and health care,” de Venecia said. “It’s just heartbreaking, especially right before Christmas. People need help now.”

Mufi Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging &Tourism Association, said Hawaii hoteliers are languishing, too.

Hannemann cited a recent survey of American Hotel &Lodging Association members that estimated 7 in
10 hoteliers (71%) wouldn’t make it another six months without further federal assistance given current and projected travel demand, and 77% of hotels report they will be forced to lay off more workers.

“I don’t know if Hawaii is quite at 71%. We’ve got a number of foreign hotel owners who might be able to survive beyond that period. Still, I would reckon a good number of our properties are in dire straits,” Hannemann said.

Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, said in
a statement that Congress must move quickly to pass additional relief for U.S.
hotels.

“Every hour Congress doesn’t act, hotels lose
400 jobs. As devastated industries like ours desperately wait for Congress to come together to pass another round of COVID-19
relief legislation, hotels continue to face record devastation,” Rogers said. “Without action from Congress, half of U.S. hotels could close with massive layoffs in the next six months.”

Rogers said U.S. hotels
already are expecting to face a difficult winter, characterized by a significant drop in travel demand — some 7 out of 10 Americans are not expected to travel over the holidays.

According to STR, U.S. weekly hotel occupancy has slipped further from previous weeks.

“After ranging between 48% and 50% occupancy from mid-July into the later portion of October, the last three

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Despite officials’ warnings and pleas, travel over Thanksgiving is expected to hit a pandemic peak.

The nation’s health experts on Sunday pleaded with Americans to stay home over the Thanksgiving holiday and forgo any plans to travel or celebrate at large family gatherings, even as airports have recorded a significant rise in passengers.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease specialist, and other health experts relayed a clear message on Sunday morning news shows: with coronavirus cases surging to record levels across the country, turning nearly every state into a hot zone of transmission, the risk of getting infected, whether in transit or in even small indoor gatherings, is high.

Up to 50 million people could be traveling on roads and through airports in the United States over Thanksgiving this year, according to AAA, the biggest travel surge since the pandemic began, despite strong cautions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health authorities. A video of a packed airport in Phoenix has been circulating widely on social media. As of Sunday, 47 states — all but Hawaii, Maine and Vermont — were considered high-risk zones for viral transmission, and nationwide hospitalizations were at a record 83,227.

“Please seriously consider decisions that you make,” Dr. Fauci said on the CBS show “Face the Nation.” Encountering large numbers of people in airports and on planes is particularly dangerous, he said. Although airlines have invested in air circulation and ventilation systems to minimize viral transmission, Dr. Fauci said, “sometimes when you get a crowded plane, or you’re in a crowded airport, you’re lining up, not everybody’s wearing masks — that puts yourself at risk.”

And gathering indoors, whether you travel or not, carries risk. “When you’re eating and drinking, obviously, you have to take your mask off,” Dr. Fauci said. “We know now that those are the kinds of situations that are leading to outbreaks.”

Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said on Fox News on Sunday that because about half of infections are spread by people who don’t have any symptoms, “you can’t assume that you don’t have the virus, and you can’t assume that the people whose home you’re about to enter don’t have the virus, at this point in our pandemic.”

He recommended celebrating Thanksgiving only with the people you live with. People who choose to visit others’ homes should spend as much time as possible outdoors and “should be wearing masks indoors when they’re together, and only removing them when they’re eating.”

In Tulsa, Okla., Victory, a megachurch, canceled a “Friendsgiving” service on Sunday that had called on members to bring a friend after it prompted an outcry, instead opting to give away boxed meals, NBC News reported. The church did not respond to a request for comment regarding its planned “Thanksgiving Day Brunch,” which, according to its website, is set to be held on Thursday in the church’s cafeteria.

Dr. Fauci and others warned that Americans’ behavior over Thanksgiving would have critical implications for

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Russian air travel bankruptcies not expected despite 2020 traffic drop

MOSCOW, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Despite a forecast drop in passenger travel of around 50% this year, Russia’s federal aviation agency said on Thursday it does not expect airport or airline bankruptcies, with the industry ravaged by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Russia grounded flights abroad in March to curb the spread of coronavirus and only began reopening some routes in August, but has gradually added more destinations to the list. During a lockdown period in the spring, some airlines saw traffic fall as much as 90%.

“We currently do not expect bankruptcy of airports or airlines, although the financial situation is quite difficult,” said Rosaviatsiya’s deputy head Alexei Novgorodov, speaking at a transport forum.

As the industry watchdog, Rosaviatsiya monitors airlines’ financial state and may have additional information on the likelihood of the industry receiving state support packages. The government distributed 23.4 billion roubles of state funds to airlines suffering losses back in May.

National carrier Aeroflot raised around 50 billion roubles ($655.28 million) in state funds as part of a secondary share offering last month.

Novgorodov said Russian airlines would miss out on around half the number of passengers in 2020, compared with a year previously.

Preliminary Rosaviatsiya data showed passenger traffic fell by 46.1% to 59.44 million people from January to October.

Despite the resumption of some routes, many international ones remain closed, posing a challenge to airlines, for which international routes are more profitable.

$1 = 76.3030 roubles Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Alexander Marrow; editing by David Evans

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Outdoor recreation sales expected to ‘skyrocket’ in the Inland Northwest; including avalanche beacons

Earth Economics estimates outdoor recreations sales are expected to exceed $26 billion in spending as people are rushing to get outside amid the pandemic.

SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s nearly been a year since a devastating avalanche at Silver Mountain, three people died and four others were injured. Since then, skiers and resorts have been gearing up to make sure they stay safe on the mountain. 

After the avalanche at Silver Mountain, local retailers saw a spike in avalanche beacons. They’re devices that help locate rescuers locate skiers if they get stuck under the snow. 

Now amid the pandemic, REI Spokane reports beacon sales are spiking once again as record amounts of people rush to get outdoors. 

RELATED: Silver Mountain makes changes to its operations after deadly avalanche

Winter sales in general are projected to skyrocket. Earth Economics estimates outdoor recreation in Washington supports more than $26 billion dollars in spending and that number is said to be larger this season as more people turn to outdoor recreation. 

Even amid new statewide restrictions limiting capacity in stores retailers have stayed busy.

“You know we were concerned about the crowd size and everything, but they’re following the protocols,” Jay and Judy Stafstrom said.

The Stafstrom’s are in shopping for cross-country skiing gear to get into the backcountry.

“We just canceled Thanksgiving with family in Seattle and so now it’s like you gotta get the energy out and the anxiety out, getting outdoors really helps with that,” the Safstrom’s said.

They’re not alone, Katie Wiseman with REI Spokane said demand for outdoor recreations has stayed steady throughout the entire pandemic and people hoping to get their hands on winter outdoor gear should buy now.

RELATED: How to enjoy the outdoors safely in Spokane while social distancing

“Most of our snowshoeing, Nordic skiing and downhill skiing is kind of taking off, we’re telling customers to buy now,” Wiseman said.

Record high demand for outdoor gear has been causing supply to short out sooner. Wiseman said the beginning of the pandemic is a good indicator for what retailers can expect as many chose to opt outside.

“It’s hard to guess and then you look at demand and everyone wanting to get outside, everybody, because that is how to stay apart with your loved ones,” Wiseman said.

One of the most popular items this year is avalanche beacons, something normal for the back-country, but this year some are choosing to carry them even at resorts.

“Every person should have one, if they are in the backcountry in reality that’s a safety concern,” Wiseman said.

RELATED: Spokane-area stores see spike in avalanche beacon sales after Silver Mountain deaths

The devices are used for people going into avalanche danger areas, they send out a radio signal which is picked up by another beacon. However, these devices by themselves aren’t any good unless you have other necessary tools like a shovel and a probe.

“You use that to kind of poke into the snow and see how deep it’s

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Conditions deteriorating on the Prairies, with dangerous blizzard expected to shut down travel across the region Sunday

CBC

Winter will help COVID-19 spread more easily, experts say — here’s what they suggest you do about it

Canada is heading into its first winter of the COVID-19 pandemic, and some experts say the change in seasons will serve the coronavirus that causes the illness well.Cold weather affects viruses themselves in two major ways: through temperature and humidity, said Dr. Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s faculty of information.When a virus is exhaled, it begins to break down right away, Furness said. But the colder it gets, the slower that process is.”Instead of dying, perhaps, in minutes on a hot summer day, in freezing temperatures, it will last essentially — as far as we know — indefinitely,” Furness said. “It goes from being quick-dying to being immortal, based on temperature.”Winter weather can also help the virus stay aloft longer and travel farther, he said — because of the drier air that typically comes with lower temperatures, and how that affects the respiratory droplets we exhale.”When the droplet you exhale comes out in humid weather … it gets bigger. It attracts water and falls to the ground,” Furness said. “But in really dry, cold air, the opposite happens. The droplet evaporates, it gets lighter, and that happens very fast.”WATCH | Doctors answer questions about what places are higher risk for COVID-19:Then there’s the effect the weather has on people.Cold weather pushes people indoors, Furness said. It also means we don’t have our windows open, meaning our living spaces are won’t be as well ventilated as they other at other times of year.”If you have enough people in a poorly enough ventilated space, [like] holiday time in the winter … that’s sort of the perfect storm for virus transmission,” he said.”It pushes people exactly to where the virus moves very, very well — between people in close quarters.”The dry air also makes our bodies more vulnerable to pathogens, such as the new coronavirus, by drying out the protective mucus membrane that lines our respiratory tracts, said Dr. Dasantila Golemi-Kotra, an expert on microbial infections.”This mucus membrane actually traps these pathogens, and as the air moves out, these pathogens are expelled,” said Golemi-Kotra, who is also an associate professor in York University’s biology department.”At low humidity, this membrane becomes dry … so it’s much easier, now, for the pathogens to get access to the respiratory tract and infect us.”That’s the bad news. Here’s what these experts suggest you can do about it.Mind your mittens”First of all, avoid touching your face with mittens,” Golemi-Kotra said.Your gloves or mittens could come into contact with a lot of high-touch surfaces as you go about your day, so be careful with them. Gauge your daily activities and treat your mitts or gloves accordingly, she advised.If you don’t wear them long or contact many high-touch surfaces, it’s enough to let them sit for several hours in a safe area before re-wearing, she said. Studies show the virus’s stability in

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Perry Area Joint Recreation District finances report expected soon | News

A committee that formed to take an in-depth look at the financial condition of the Perry Area Joint Recreation District is making good progress.

That update was provided by Recreation District Board Chairman Rick Amos during the Oct. 27 meeting of the Perry Township trustees.

“They’ve done a lot of work putting together some numbers and what they see (the rec district’s) needs are going to be,” Amos said.

The committee, which is composed of recreation board members, began meeting in late September. Along with conducting a comprehensive financial review, the group also is considering the topic of annual subsidies that Perry and North Perry villages and Perry Township pay to the district.

In a previous News-Herald story, Amos said the panel intended to study the district’s projected finances for the next five years or so, and determine if funding will be able to keep community recreation sustainable in Perry.

At the Oct. 27 trustees’ meeting, Amos also talked about how the group’s findings will be shared.

“As soon as (the committee) is done, I think that they’re going to kind of give a CliffsNotes version of (the district’s) needs, and our plan is to send it to (Perry Township trustees), to all council people and to all mayors so everybody has it in their hands, so they can get a better idea,” Amos said. “I think that if we write this down, it will answer a lot of questions for everybody.”

Amos anticipates that leaders in all three communities will receive the special financial report on the rec district “way before the end of the year.”

Traditionally, the township, and Perry and North Perry villages all have provided the recreation district with annual subsidies to help the district pay for items such as insurance, employee wages and salaries, and overhead. Each year, the rec district sends out letters in January to the communities’ government leaders, reminding them about the subsidies.

Operating costs for the rec district, on the other hand, are covered through fees paid by participants in sports and other activities.

Perry Area Joint Recreation District, which offers programs for children and senior citizens, serves the three Perry communities and Perry Schools.

Although Perry Schools used to pay annual subsidies to the rec district, it hasn’t done so in recent years, However, Amos said that the school district does provide in-kind contributions by allowing its athletic fields and buildings to be used for rec district activities.

The next gathering of the committee spearheading the study of rec district finances is slated to take place at 4 p.m., Nov. 9, at the township Administration Building. That session will be followed by a meeting of the full recreational board at 5 p.m. 

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NJ Discourages Travel To PA But No Quarantine Expected

PENNSYLVANIA – New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is discouraging residents in the Garden State from traveling to Pennsylvania due to an increase in coronavirus cases.

New York on Tuesday also announced it was discouraging its residents to go to Pennsylvania after the state met the criteria to be on the travel advisory list.

While Pennsylvania meets the criteria to be on both New Jersey and New York’s travel quarantine list, governors from both states say that’s not feasible.

Due to the “interconnected nature” of Pennsylvania to New Jersey, a quarantine would not be possible, Murphy said. He noted, however, that nonessential travel is “highly discouraged,” Murphy said. This comes as New Jersey expanded it travel quarantine list to 39 states.

On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut all met the data threshold to be included on that state’s travel quarantine list.

But, he noted there was “no practical way” to set such a quarantine. “There are just too many interchanges, interconnections, and people who live in one place and work in the other.”

New York is also discouraging its residents from nonessential travel to Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania reported 1,557 new coronavirus cases, bringing the statewide total to 184,872.

Five key indicators on the status of the coronavirus pandemic in Pennsylvania are on the rise, and more than 20 counties are reporting concerning percent-positivity rates, data released this week shows.

Cases are up, the incidence rate of the virus has increased, and the testing positivity rate is on the rise. Plus, hospitalizations are up and the number of patients on ventilators has also increased.

The data, released as part of the state’s Early Warning Monitoring System, compares six metrics over the past seven-day period with the previous seven-day period. The latest data was collected between Oct. 9-15. Read more.

This article originally appeared on the Across Pennsylvania Patch

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