Tag: Peak

Thanksgiving Draws Travel to a Pandemic Peak

The weekend after Thanksgiving met expectations that it would be the busiest travel period in the U.S. since the coronavirus pandemic began, aided by clement weather and lower gas prices that encouraged some to drive rather than fly.

Almost 50 million people were expected to have made a journey during the Thanksgiving holidays, said AAA, despite tightening local clampdowns and warnings from federal health officials. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Nov. 19 recommended people not travel over Thanksgiving.

The number of travelers from Nov. 25 through Nov. 29 was down more than 10% from a record set last year, according to AAA, which includes flights and road trips of more than 50 miles. Airlines, which boosted capacity earlier in the month only to trim flying when cancellations started to climb in recent weeks, said traveler numbers were in line with their revised expectations.

The Transportation Security Administration said that its workers screened more than 964,000 people on Saturday, down 37% from a year earlier, and more than a million on Nov. 25, the busiest flying day since March. TSA said that it expected screenings on Sunday to be higher than that.

Travel flows were helped by the lack of winter storms that blighted travel last year, triggering thousands of scrubbed flights in the Northeast and on down the East Coast. Only around 200 flights were scrubbed across the country over the weekend, with the total number of flights down by around a half from a year ago.

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Day before Thanksgiving travel hits highest peak since March

Many Americans flouted holiday travel warnings from public health officials this week, as travel rates on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving reaching its highest level since the coronavirus pandemic was declared in March.

a group of people sitting at a table: Day before Thanksgiving travel hits highest peak since March

© Greg Nash
Day before Thanksgiving travel hits highest peak since March

The Transportation Security Administration reported 1,070,967 people crossed TSA checkpoints Wednesday, NBC News reported.

The nearly 1.1 million travelers on the day before Thanksgiving, one of the year’s busiest travel days, were the most passengers screened by the TSA since March 16, when the administration reported 1.25 million passengers at the time.

The data also showed over 1 million people passing through security checkpoints on Nov. 20 and 22.

On Nov. 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning telling Americans to avoid travel for the holiday, citing an “exponential growth” in COVID-19 cases across the country.

Numerous experts have said that ignoring the warnings would lead to an additional uptick in cases leading into December. However, the virus’s extended incubation period likely won’t reflect such results in data for around two weeks.

The flight-tracking service FlightRadar24 reported more airplanes in the skies at noon Eastern time the Tuesday before Thanksgiving than there were on the same Tuesday in 2018, and eight percent fewer than in 2019.

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U.S. air travel hit post-March peak on day before Thanksgiving

Despite warnings from public health officials, more people in the U.S. boarded planes on the day before Thanksgiving than any day since March, part of a broader surge in travel that comes amid a significant surge of Covid-19 cases.

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According to Transportation Security Administration figures, 1,070,967 people crossed TSA checkpoints Wednesday, part of a surge in travel in the seven days leading up to Thanksgiving that brought more than 6.8 million people to airports across the country.

But overall travel remains significantly lower than years past. Wednesday’s figure is less than half as many of the 2.6 million who traveled the day before Thanksgiving in 2019.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a last-minute warning on Nov. 19 asking Americans to avoid travelling for Thanksgiving due to “exponential growth” in Covid-19 cases.

More than 1.2 million people in the U.S. contracted Covid-19 in the week leading up to Thanksgiving, close to double the 635,000-plus new cases three weeks before that. Case counts continue to be up across most of the country.

The 1.1 million travelers on Wednesday was the most passengers screened by the TSA since March 16, when 1.25 million passengers crossed its checkpoints. Similarly, the 6.8 million travelers in the week leading up to Thanksgiving were the most in any seven-day span since March 14 to March 20.

According to flight-tracking service FlightRadar24, there were more airplanes in the skies at noon Eastern the Tuesday before Thanksgiving than there were on the same Tuesday in 2018, and 8 percent fewer than in 2019.

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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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Wildlife, conservation, recreation among topics of new Colorado Outdoors podcast | Pikes Peak Courier

For any outdoor-centric Coloradan, there’s a new podcast to consider.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife at the end of October launched Colorado Outdoors, audio segments “designed to share the work taking place in the agency,” according to a news release.

Topics will include “parks, wildlife, trails, outdoor recreation, safety, natural resources, research, biology, energy and more.” The podcast “will also give the agency a communication tool to share information on hot and pressing topics,” according to the release.

Colorado Outdoors launched with a 37-minute interview with Dan Prenzlow, director of the government enterprise funded by sporting licenses, park passes and other fees.

The balance between conservation and recreation has “really hit a crescendo in the last five years,” Prenzlow said, alluding to record crowding at parks and the state’s ever-rising population. He said CPW is “working with the governor’s office” to come up with a “balancing” plan.

“Everybody that makes a decision — every county, every city, the state and federal government — anytime you approve something or disapprove something, you’re adding to that complexity,” Prenzlow said. “Long story short, we’re gonna work to balance that.”

Another Colorado Outdoors episode focuses on Fishers Peak, the 42nd state park that recently opened on a limited basis. The park’s manager, Crystal Dreiling, said she expects it to take two years to finalize a master plan, a guide for developing the 19,200-acre preserve.

She described the “raw and rugged” nature of the park. “Hopefully we can keep it that way in a sense,” she said.

Colorado Outdoors is available wherever you stream podcasts, including Spotify, Apple/iTunes, Google and Amazon.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

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United slashes December schedule but plans extra flights for peak holiday travel days at O’Hare, other hubs

United Airlines will offer less than half the number of flights it did last December as the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on travel heading into the holiday season.

Still, Chicago-based United expects the holidays to bring more travelers back to the skies and will add extra flights around peak holiday travel days, the airline said Monday.

The week of Thanksgiving is expected to be its busiest since March. In December, the busiest holiday travel days will see more daily departures than the rest of the month, including more flights from hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston and Washington, D.C., United said.

The airline said it expects about half of its passengers flying for Thanksgiving to book their trips less than a month in advance, up from about 40% last year.

It wasn’t immediately clear which destinations would see fewer holiday season flights than last year. United plans to fly 52% of last year’s December schedule of domestic flights.

Even with fewer flights, average domestic airfares are expected to drop roughly 40% around Thanksgiving and Christmas because of lower demand, travel data firm Hopper said last month.

Nearly half of Chicagoans aren’t planning to travel as much this holiday season as they did last year, according to a consumer survey by Deloitte.

United is adding service to warm weather destinations in Florida and Hawaii, including resuming service between Chicago and Maui, as well as domestic ski destinations and some international beach destinations. The airline said it plans to fly 43% of last year’s schedule of international flights, up from 39% in November.

“While this holiday travel season looks quite different than recent years, we’re continuing to follow the same playbook we have all year long – watching the data and adding more flights, adjusting schedules and leveraging larger aircraft to give customers more ways to reunite with family or reach their destinations,” Ankit Gupta, United’s vice president of network planning and scheduling, said in a news release.

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Cameron Peak, East Troublesome fires evacuees face hard decisions



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By the time Becky Jensen returned to her home in Poudre Canyon in late October, she hadn’t slept in her bed for 12 weeks.

Back in August, Jensen returned from celebrating her 50th birthday with a two-week hike in the San Juan Mountains as the Cameron Peak Fire ran east down Colorado Highway 14, forcing widespread evacuations that included her cabin a mile west of Rustic.

For the next 2½ months, Jensen camped out in her mother’s basement in Fort Collins with two cats and a dog, even as mandatory evacuations turned to voluntary. 

“I have asthma and pets. It was smart to gather everything together and head to Fort Collins and stay with my mom,” Jensen said as she prepared to return home after evacuations were lifted for the Colorado 14 corridor.

It’s been a long slog, but Jensen considers herself lucky. Her house is still standing and she was able to take refuge with family. Not everyone had that option.

Unlike the 2012 High Park Fire, when the American Red Cross opened a large evacuation center at The Ranch in Loveland, COVID-19 concerns prompted the agency to pay for hotel rooms for evacuees unable to find shelter with family or friends. 

Stories: Newlyweds look for light in the darkness after fire destroys their home

The Red Cross reported to Larimer County leaders that it has paid for more than 27,000 hotel nights. A family or single person staying in a hotel room for one night counts as one hotel night.

At the peak of Cameron Peak Fire evacuations, the Red Cross housed 1,300 evacuees in 570 rooms spread across 16 hotels and a KOA campground.

That number soared Oct. 22 when Estes Park residents fled the approaching East Troublesome Fire. Through Tuesday, 2,273 evacuees were housed in 1,043 rooms across more than 35 area hotels and two KOAs.


Hilary and Josh Embrey’s home in Buckskin Heights in Masonville, Colorado was destroyed in the Cameron Peak Fire.

Fort Collins Coloradoan

While the loss of homes is still being assessed, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office has reported more than 442 structures have been destroyed within the county.

Of those damaged or destroyed, 209 are homes —  26 are primary residences. An additional 208 are outbuildings and 17 were designated as businesses that were part of the Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes.

Those who lost their homes will be forced to find more permanent housing over the coming days and weeks while they decide what comes next.

Their decisions — depending on the final structure loss from the fires — could both tighten an already stressed housing market and help a hotel industry decimated by COVID-19.

Want to help: Here’s how to help those impacted by the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires

COVID-19 clears hotel space for fire evacuees

In normal years, hotels in Fort Collins and Loveland would have been hard pressed to accommodate so many evacuees as

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Here’s a sneak peak inside Allen’s upcoming recreation center

Allen’s new recreation center is set to feature airy, open spaces and multiple exercise options when it opens in the spring of 2023. The public was given the first glimpse of the new facility’s interior during a city workshop on Oct. 13, when the City of Allen Parks and Recreation division revealed interior renderings for the future Stephen G. Terrell Recreation Center.

The new 149,000-square-foot facility will sit on Exchange Parkway, south of Ridgeview Drive. The $54 million project by BRS Architects will feature a modern, sleek interior with some flexible spaces and community rooms.

According to the parks department, amenities will include:

  • An indoor playground
  • A child watch area
  • Two gymnasiums with multiple courts
  • A vaulted indoor walking and jogging track
  • An adventure track
  • Weight and cardio areas
  • Group fitness areas
  • A catering kitchen
  • An outdoor fitness deck
  • An open, spacious lobby

Parks and Recreation Director Kate Meacham also discussed the city’s goals for memberships during the city workshop.

It’s estimated that 20% of households in Allen’s market area have at least one type of membership to a local fitness facility. Whether its a youth, family, adult or senior membership, Meacham added that the division’s conservative goal for the Stephen G. Terrell Recreation Center is to pull in at least one type of membership from about 7% of households in Allen’s market area.

She said most Allen facilities currently have an al la carte model, which means members pay for each activity they participate in, in addition to a monthly or annual membership. But to compete with other fitness facilities in the area, the city is looking at other operational methods.

“The al la carte method is a tried and true method,” Meacham said during the workshop. “However, more of the fitness facilities today are going to the more all inclusive. We try to bundle as many things as possible to that membership package, so they get more bang for their buck.”

She said, if they choose an all-inclusive model, they would try to build the biggest bundle they could, which may include access to about 50 group fitness classes per week, child care and discounted facility rentals, as well as some other amenities.

Discussions about the bundle package have also included potential access to Joe Farmer Recreation Center, Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium, Allen Senior Recreation Center and Ford Pool — and maybe even the Allen Community Ice Rink, Meacham said.

The goal is to cross-promote and build the biggest collection of services possible for its members, she added.

The street rehabilitation project approved by city council on Oct. 13 will restore six streets, including Austin Drive, Boyd Drive, Anna Drive, Ash Drive, Bonham Drive and Young Drive.

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India Infection Peak Seen; Green Lane Travel: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — European leaders intensified efforts to tamp down surging infections, with Ireland enacting severe restrictions. Soaring cases in U.S. battleground states pose a challenge for President Donald Trump two weeks before the election.


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India has already seen a peak in the number of new infections and may be able to contain the world’s second-largest outbreak by February, according to a government panel of scientists. The Philippines shortened curfew hours in Manila and eased the stay-at-home order to further reopen its economy.

Discussions to open up travel for business purposes continue to take place in Asia, with the governments of Japan and China reportedly close to an agreement to resume business travel between the countries as soon as this week.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 40.2 million; deaths exceed 1.1 millionSee the latest on the race for a vaccine with Bloomberg’s trackerTrading floors are full and masks are off in post-Covid ShanghaiFear of job loss haunt half the world’s workers as crisis ragesCDC issues ‘strong’ call for masks on U.S. airplanes, trainsHow do people catch Covid-19? Here’s what experts say: QuickTake

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.


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Japan, China Near Agreement to Resume Business Travel (7:29 a.m. HK)

The governments of Japan and China will agree to resume business travel between the countries as soon as this week, Yomiuri reports, citing an unidentified Japanese government official.

Those planning long stays will be required to undergo 14 day quarantine, but will be exempt for short stays provided certain conditions are met

Texas Hospitals Strain to Cope in Newest Hotspots (7:27 a.m. HK)

Almost one-fourth of all hospital beds in the El Paso, Texas, area are occupied by virus patients and the region with almost 1 million residents has just 16 intensive-care beds available, state health department data showed.

In the state’s newest hotspots of El Paso, Lubbock, Amarillo and Laredo, hospitals’ virus loads are approaching or already above the 15% threshhold set forth by Governor Greg Abbott for emergency status.

Meanwhile, data lags continue to dog efforts to track the trajectory of the outbreak in the second-largest US state. On Monday, the state disclosed 2,440 previously uncounted cases, a tally which outnumbered the actual figure for new daily detections by more than 7%.

CDC Urges Masks While on Transit (6:41 a.m. HK)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a “strong recommendation” for mask-wearing by both passengers and operators on planes, trains, buses and taxis to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Masks should cover a person’s nose and mouth and be worn while traveling in and out of the U.S. as well as within the country, the agency said. Operators should require them for the entire time of travel and deny entry to anyone not wearing one.

The change was reported earlier by the Washington Post, which said it followed airline industry

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