Tag: Warnings

Many Americans Ignored Thanksgiving Travel Warnings From CDC, Data Show : Coronavirus Updates : NPR

More Americans stayed home for Thanksgiving this year compared with last year — but by relatively small margins.

An NPR analysis of mobile phone location data showed that 42% of Americans with smartphones remained home, up from 36% last year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention repeatedly urged people to avoid holiday travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the warnings, 13% of Americans still traveled a significant distance, the data showed, although that number was down from 17% last year.

Ali Mokdad, from the University of Washington, said that ideally, more people would have stayed home given the high case rates. “This level of travel will unfortunately lead to a rise in cases,” said Mokdad, who is the chief strategy officer for Population Health.

Data, provided to NPR by SafeGraph, are based on tracking the locations of about 18 million mobile phones across the United States. NPR analyzed the anonymized data to determine the percentage of people who stayed at their “home” location for Thanksgiving as well as the percentage who traveled 31 miles or more.

Thanksgiving week is usually one of the busiest travel periods of the year, but 2020 was expected to end an 11-year trend of travel growth going back to the 2008-09 Great Recession. Car travel had been expected to decrease by at least 10%, while accounting for a higher overall proportion of travel, as fewer people were expected to fly, according to AAA.

In fact, air travel this year was less than half of what it was for the same holiday period in 2019, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Despite the decrease, the number of air passengers hovered at around 1 million per day for a majority of the week leading up to Thanksgiving, the highest it has been since mid-March, when the pandemic began to ramp up in the U.S. Air traffic has been steadily increasing the last few months, even as the country recorded some of its highest new daily coronavirus case counts. In the week leading up to Thanksgiving Day alone, the U.S. saw about 1 million new cases.

TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein noted there had been no issues with passenger volume on Thanksgiving Day. To account for more travelers during the travel period, the TSA “opened additional checkpoint lanes to help ensure low wait times and allow for social distancing.”

SafeGraph’s metrics cannot capture what people did when they left home or what safety measures they took to mitigate their risk of contracting or spreading the coronavirus. SafeGraph’s data also cannot account for whether those who left home went to houses within their social bubble.

If you were one of the people who traveled for Thanksgiving, it’s not too late to reduce the risk involved. Quarantining, wearing a mask near others, limiting interactions outside the house and getting tested if any symptoms develop can all reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

“The best way to prevent further spread of the disease is to stay home, avoid gatherings,

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Sunday saw the most travelers pass through US airports since the pandemic began as Americans bucked CDC warnings against Thanksgiving travel



a group of people in a room: Travelers at New York's LaGuardia Airport. AP Photo/John Minchillo


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Travelers at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. AP Photo/John Minchillo

  • Over 1.1 million travelers flew on Sunday, breaking a record for pandemic travel for daily passengers not seen since March.
  • Thanksgiving was largely successful in getting more flyers in the air as over 15 million passengers flew between November 19 and November 29, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned against Thanksgiving travel but over a third of Americans told Insider that the guidance didn’t change their plans. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Transportation Security Administration is reporting that a record-breaking 1,176,091 passengers traveled by air on Sunday, likely returning home after the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s the first time since March 16 that daily traffic numbers have been that high.

Thanksgiving encouraged more people to fly following a lackluster summer for airlines, TSA statistics show. The days leading up to the family-oriented holiday that typically draws scores of flyers to the skies similarly saw passenger numbers exceed one million.

From November 19 to November 29, nine days saw over 900,000 passengers, four of which saw over one million passengers for a total of 10,381,904 passengers. The same period in 2019 saw 25,898,477 passengers.

It took airlines seven months to get back to one million passengers in a single day with October 18 seeing 1,031,505 flyers pass through security checkpoints at US airports. The day quickly proved to be an outlier, however, as it took another month and a popular travel holiday for the daily passenger count to rise back to similar levels.

The influx of passengers comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned against non-essential travel. Large gatherings allow for the virus to spread from person to person, especially when attendees are in close proximity, such as around the dinner table. 

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An Insider poll of 1,110 Americans found that over one-third didn’t plan on changing their holiday plans, despite CDC warnings, and the increase in traveler numbers around the holiday clearly reflects that. 

The Thanksgiving holiday itself didn’t see as many travelers with only 560,902 flyers. That’s to be expected, however, as most holiday-goers typically fly on the days leading up to and following the holiday itself.

The next busy holiday travel rush will surround the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. This time, however, planes will be more crowded as Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways are filling their aircraft at higher levels than during the Thanksgiving travel period.

Southwest Airlines will allow its planes to be filled to capacity on December 1. The low-cost carrier had blocked seats over the summer, as Business Insider found on two June flights on the airline, but announced an end to the policy in October citing new Harvard University and US Department of Defense studies

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Holiday air travel surges despite dire health warnings



FILE - In this Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 file photo, a traveler wears a mask as she walks through Terminal 3 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. The Transportation Security Administration said nearly 1.2 million people went through U.S. airports on Sunday, the highest number since the coronavirus pandemic gripped the country back in March, despite the pleadings of public health experts for people to stay home over Thanksgiving. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)


© Provided by Associated Press
FILE – In this Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 file photo, a traveler wears a mask as she walks through Terminal 3 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. The Transportation Security Administration said nearly 1.2 million people went through U.S. airports on Sunday, the highest number since the coronavirus pandemic gripped the country back in March, despite the pleadings of public health experts for people to stay home over Thanksgiving. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

Nearly 1.2 million people passed through U.S. airports Sunday, the greatest number since the pandemic gripped the country in March, despite pleas from health experts for Americans to stay home over Thanksgiving.

The Transportation Security Administration screened at least 1 million people on four of the last 10 days through Sunday. That’s still half the crowd recorded last year at airports, when more than 2 million people were counted per day.

With new reported cases of coronavirus spiking across the country, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had issued a warning against Thanksgiving travel just a week before the holiday.

Some airlines had reported a pullback in bookings as virus cases grew. On Monday, JetBlue Airways said “booking trends remain volatile,” and a recovery in travel demand will be uneven into next year.

JetBlue, the nation’s sixth-largest airline, plans to fly only half its normal schedule in the fourth quarter and revenue will fall about 70% from the same period last year. Those are slightly deeper reductions in flying and revenue than the New York carrier had expected before the recent spike in infections.



FILE - In this Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 file photo, travelers walk through Terminal 3 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. The Transportation Security Administration said nearly 1.2 million people went through U.S. airports on Sunday, the highest number since the coronavirus pandemic gripped the country back in March, despite the pleadings of public health experts for people to stay home over Thanksgiving. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)


© Provided by Associated Press
FILE – In this Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 file photo, travelers walk through Terminal 3 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. The Transportation Security Administration said nearly 1.2 million people went through U.S. airports on Sunday, the highest number since the coronavirus pandemic gripped the country back in March, despite the pleadings of public health experts for people to stay home over Thanksgiving. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

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Millions travel during holiday despite health warnings

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Despite health warnings, millions of people took to the skies for Thanksgiving travel, making airports the more crowded than any time since the pandemic began.

Travelers said they went to visit family over the holiday weekend, but took extra safety precautions at their destinations.

“Obviously we had our masks and wherever we went there was cleaning sanitizing zones and social distancing, you know all the restaurants, everyone was on board with making sure that we were following all the protocols,” SFO traveler Dan Gilmartin said.

Gilmartin went to Palm Springs for Thanksgiving.

REPORTER: “What made you travel despite the CDC’s recommendations not to?”

DAN GILMARTIN: “You know, we already planned the vacation before the recommendation and felt very safe. Like right now, there’s not very many people in here.”

SFO saw no large crowds on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, which is usually one of the busiest travel days.

But health experts are more concerned about where people are going to, potentially super spreading events to see family.

Which was on Donny Molina’s mind — he spent the holiday in Las Vegas.

“We didn’t have a lot of family over for Thanksgiving. We tried to keep it small,” Molina said. “We’ve seen family members that we need to see, other than that you know we just FaceTimed.”

“It was tense,” SFO traveler Annette Parent said. “The planes were full.”>

For Parent, travel was necessary.

“I went to see my mother in Oregon who is not doing very well,” she said. “She doesn’t have COVID but she’s elderly and she needed some help.”

Despite the CDC’s dire warning to stay home, millions of Americans traveled for Thanksgiving.

SFO saw the busiest days – since the pandemic began.

REPORTER: “Are you feeling COVID regulation fatigue?”

DAN GILMARTIN: “Absolutely. Well for one, my ears are killing me right now from this mask. But just socially, it was just nice to get out of town. There were a lot of people in palm springs there but again everyone was separated but it was nice to be out in public to be around the community be around people.”

“Probably a little bit,” Molina said. “I try not to think about it too much but I feel we have to be feeling it a little bit but just trying to make the best of it and try to stay safe and hopefully it will be over soon.”

“No, I think it’s essential and I really wish people wear their masks most of the time,” Parent said.

And doctor’s next concern — the upcoming winter holidays. What effect will those gatherings have on COVID-19.

It is recommended you get tested three to five days after you’ve potentially been exposed to the virus to avoid a false negative test result.

Doctors say it may be some time until we know the full effects of these Thanksgiving gatherings, it usually takes two to three weeks to gather all the data.

Santa Clara County updated its

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As it happened: Warnings in US as millions travel for Thanksgiving

In the US ,the pandemic is going to keep many families apart this Thanksgiving, but Texas grandparents Missy and Barry Buchanan have come up with an ingenious way to stay connected with their family.

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They sent 6ft tall, actual life-sized, cardboard cut-outs of themselves to their son and daughter, and grandchildren,.

“I was trying to figure out what can we do that will send a message, that
it’s going to be okay,” Missy told US media.

She said they got out their tripod, took a photo of themselves, and told
their children to expect something large in the mail.

“It just kinda takes the seriousness and sadness out,” her daughter Mindy Whittington said. “It’s really hard not to laugh when you have 6ft parents behind you!”

Son Matthew Buchanan said his children had been having fun placing
their cardboard grandparents around the house and in the garden.

“It’s not as gratifying as having a grandchild crawl up in your lap and being able to give them a hug,” Missy said.

“But we’re just thankful that everybody has been well and safe, and we will be together again around the table.”

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Defying warnings, millions in the US travel for Thanksgiving

Millions of Americans took to the skies and hit the road 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.

Those who are flying witnessed a distinctly 2020 landscape at the nation’s airports during what is traditionally one of the busiest travel periods of the year: plexiglass barriers in front of the ID stations, rapid virus testing sites inside terminals, and paperwork asking them to quarantine upon arrival at their destination.

While the number of Americans traveling by air over the past several days was down dramatically from the same time last year, plenty of others pressed ahead with their holiday plans amid skyrocketing deaths, hospitalizations and confirmed infections across the U.S.

Many were tired of more than eight months of social distancing and determined to spend time with loved ones.

“I think with the holidays and everything, it’s so important right now, especially because people are so bummed out because of the whole pandemic,” said 25-year-old Cassidy Zerkle of Phoenix, who flew to Kansas City, Missouri, to visit family.

She brought snacks and her own hand sanitizer and said the flight was half full. She had a row of seats to herself.

“As long as you’re maintaining your distance, you’re not touching stuff and you’re sanitizing your hands, people should see their families right now,” she said.

The coronavirus is blamed for more than 12.6 million confirmed infections and over 269,000 deaths in the U.S.

More than 88,000 people in the U.S. — an all-time high — were in the hospital with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, and new cases have soared to an average of over 174,000 per day, the highest level on record. Deaths have surged to more than 1,600 per day, a mark last seen in May, when the crisis in the New York City area was easing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local authorities have begged people not to travel and urged them to keep their Thanksgiving celebrations small.

“That’ll make sure that your extended family are around to celebrate Christmas and to celebrate the holidays next year,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said.

About 1 million people per day passed through U.S. airport checkpoints from Friday through Tuesday, a drop-off of around 60% from the same time a year ago. Still, those have been the biggest crowds since the COVID-19 crisis took hold in the U.S. in March.

Last year, a record 26 million passengers and crew passed through U.S. airport screening in the 11-day period around Thanksgiving.

People tend to drive rather than fly during the holiday, but AAA has projected those numbers also are likely to be lower this year. How much lower the auto club has not said.

Many states and cities have adopted precautions. Travelers to Los Angeles — either by plane or train — are being required to fill out an online form

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US air travel rises despite Thanksgiving pandemic warnings

US airports had their busiest weekend since March despite public health officials’ pleas for Americans to curtail Thanksgiving travel and even while the number of coronavirus cases passed 12m and hospitalisations continued to hover at record levels. 

More than 3m people passed through US airports last weekend, according to data from the US Transportation Security Administration. Nearly 1.05m travellers passed through US airport checkpoints on Sunday alone, the most since mid-March, when Covid-19 first began spreading throughout the US — although still less than half the number of people who travelled on the same day a year earlier. 

Air travel has been hit hard during the pandemic as people have put business and leisure journeys on hold to curb the spread of coronavirus, which has killed nearly 250,000 Americans. But it has started to climb back slowly, as lockdowns eased and cooped-up citizens ventured back out cautiously. 

With virus cases accelerating at an alarming rate and hospitalisations at 85,836 as of Monday — a record high for the 14th day in a row — public health officials have raised the alarm about the potential for Thanksgiving holiday travel to further accelerate the disease’s rampant spread. 

“Cases, positivity, hospitalisations, deaths — we’re seeing more Americans negatively impacted,” Jerome Adams, the US surgeon-general, told ABC’s Good Morning America on Monday. “We want everyone to understand that these holiday celebrations can be superspreader events,” he added. “We want them to be as small and smart as possible.”

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week urged Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving, typically one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. Nevertheless, thousands of Americans have queued up to receive coronavirus tests ahead of the holiday, driven by demand from people hoping to receive an all-clear before celebrating with friends and family. 


123%


Rise in coronavirus hospital cases in New York in the past three weeks

State and local officials have urged people to stay at home and avoid large indoor gatherings, with some states — including New York, New Jersey and Illinois — limiting the number of people mingling from different households. 

Others, such as California — which reported a record one-day rise in cases over the weekend — have implemented curfews on restaurants, bars and other non-essential businesses to limit their hours of operation. 

New York, which was hard hit by the pandemic in its earliest months, has moved to tighten controls once again as cases creep higher. New York City’s public school system, the largest in the US, has temporarily moved to all-remote instruction, while the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, has warned that indoor dining may be shut down completely in the near future. 

Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governor, warned on Monday that the increasing number of patients with Covid-19 was starting to strain hospitals in parts of the state, including Staten Island, where an emergency facility will be opened at local officials’ request. 

“This is a toxic cocktail of dynamics and facts,” Mr Cuomo said

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Millions stick to Thanksgiving travel plans despite CDC warnings

About 1 million Americans a day packed airports and planes over the weekend even as coronavirus deaths surged across the U.S. and public health experts begged people to stay home and avoid big Thanksgiving gatherings.

And the crowds are only expected to grow. Next Sunday is likely to be the busiest day of the holiday period.

To be sure, the number of people flying for Thanksgiving is down by more than half from last year because of the rapidly worsening outbreak. However, the 3 million who went through U.S. airport checkpoints from Friday through Sunday marked the biggest crowds since mid-March, when the COVID-19 crisis took hold in the United States.

Many travelers are unwilling to miss out on seeing family and are convinced they can do it safely. Also, many colleges have ended their in-person classes, propelling students to return home.

Laurie Pearcy, director of administration for a Minneapolis law firm, is flying to New Orleans to attend her daughter’s bridal shower and have a small Thanksgiving dinner with her son.

“I don’t want to unknowingly make anyone sick. But I also don’t want to miss this special event for my only daughter,” she said.

Stephen Browning, a retired executive from Tucson, Arizona, will be flying to Seattle for Thanksgiving with his sister. The celebration usually has up to 30 people; this year only 10 are coming, and everyone was asked to get a coronavirus test. He doesn’t plan on removing his mask to eat or drink on the flight.

“This is my first flight since December 2019, so yes, I have concerns,” he said. “But I think most airlines are acting responsibly now and enforcing masks on all flights.”

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans not to travel or spend the holiday with people outside their household.

WATCH: Thanksgiving travel and COVID-19

New cases of the virus in the U.S. have rocketed to all-time highs, averaging more than 170,000 per day, and deaths have soared to over 1,500 a day, the highest level since the spring. The virus is blamed for more than a quarter-million deaths in the U.S. and over 12 million confirmed infections.

“There is so much community transmission all over the United States that the chances of you encountering somebody that has COVID-19 is actually very, very high, whether it’s on an airplane, at the airport or at a rest area,” said Dr. Syra Madad, an infectious-disease epidemiologist for New York City hospitals.

The nation’s top infectious-diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that people at airports “are going to get us into even more trouble than we’re in right now.”

The message may be sinking in for some.

Bookings in 2020 are down about 60 percent from where they were this time last year. Thanksgiving reservations were ticking upward in early October but fell back again as case numbers surged. Since airlines have made it easier to cancel tickets, there could be a rash of cancellations

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Millions stick to Thanksgiving travel plans despite warnings

More than 1 million Americans a day packed airports and planes over the weekend even as coronavirus deaths surged across the U.S. and public health experts begged people to stay home and avoid big Thanksgiving gatherings.



Travelers leave the AirTrain at JKF International Airport Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in New York. Rising U.S. coronavirus cases, a new round of state lockdowns and public health guidance discouraging trips are dampening enthusiasm for what is usually the biggest travel period of the year. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)


© Provided by Associated Press
Travelers leave the AirTrain at JKF International Airport Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in New York. Rising U.S. coronavirus cases, a new round of state lockdowns and public health guidance discouraging trips are dampening enthusiasm for what is usually the biggest travel period of the year. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

And the crowds are only expected to grow. Next Sunday is likely to be the busiest day of the holiday period.

To be sure, the number of people flying for Thanksgiving is down by more than half from last year because of the rapidly worsening outbreak. However, the 3 million who went through U.S. airport checkpoints from Friday through Sunday marked the biggest crowds since mid-March, when the COVID-19 crisis took hold in the United States.



A traveler walks with her luggage across a nearly empty skyway bridge at Logan Airport, Friday Nov. 20, 2020, in Boston. With the coronavirus surging out of control, the nation's top public health agency pleaded with Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving and not to spend the holiday with people from outside their household. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)


© Provided by Associated Press
A traveler walks with her luggage across a nearly empty skyway bridge at Logan Airport, Friday Nov. 20, 2020, in Boston. With the coronavirus surging out of control, the nation’s top public health agency pleaded with Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving and not to spend the holiday with people from outside their household. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Many travelers are unwilling to miss out on seeing family and are convinced they can do it safely. Also, many colleges have ended their in-person classes, propelling students to return home.

Laurie Pearcy, director of administration for a Minneapolis law firm, is flying to New Orleans to attend her daughter’s bridal shower and have a small Thanksgiving dinner with her son.



Travelers make their way through the 30th Street Station ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Philadelphia. With the coronavirus surging out of control, the nation's top public health agency pleaded with Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving and not to spend the holiday with people from outside their household. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)


© Provided by Associated Press
Travelers make their way through the 30th Street Station ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Philadelphia. With the coronavirus surging out of control, the nation’s top public health agency pleaded with Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving and not to spend the holiday with people from outside their household. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

“I don’t want to unknowingly make anyone sick. But I also don’t want to miss this special event for my only daughter,” she said.

Stephen Browning, a retired executive from Tucson, Arizona, will be flying to Seattle for Thanksgiving with his sister. The celebration usually has up to 30 people; this year only 10 are coming, and everyone was asked to get a coronavirus test. He doesn’t plan on removing his mask to eat or drink on the flight.

“This is my first flight since December 2019, so yes, I have concerns,” he said. “But I think most airlines are acting responsibly now and enforcing masks on all flights.”

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans not to travel or spend the holiday with people outside their household.



Travelers make their way through the 30th Street Station ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Philadelphia. With the coronavirus surging out of control, the nation's top public health agency pleaded with Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving and not to spend the holiday with people from outside their household. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)


© Provided by Associated Press
Travelers make their way through the 30th Street Station ahead of the Thanksgiving

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Air Travel Rises Ahead of Thanksgiving, Despite Warnings: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

Credit…David Santiago/Miami Herald, via Associated Press

More travelers were screened at airport security checkpoints on Sunday than on any day since the pandemic took hold in March, a worrying sign that people flying to visit their families for Thanksgiving could increase the spread of the coronavirus.

A little more than one million people were screened by the Transportation Security Administration on Sunday, according to federal data published on Monday. That number is about half of what it was in 2019, but it represents a big increase from the spring, when less than a half a million people flew on any given day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, have been strongly discouraging holiday travel for fear that it would increase the number of new infections, which have surged in recent weeks as the weather turns colder and more people spend time indoors.

Airlines have said that flying is safe because of the precautions the industry has put in place, like high-end air filtration. They also point to the relatively few published cases of the coronavirus being spread during a flight. But the science on in-flight safety is far from settled, and travelers would still be at risk of contracting or spreading the virus at airports and once they are at their destination.

The increase in travel during the holidays has been encouraging for airlines. But it won’t be enough to offset the deep losses they have suffered during the pandemic. The nation’s largest airlines have collectively reported tens of billions of dollars in losses so far this year, and analysts expect demand to remain weak for a couple of years or more. The industry is hoping that the incoming Biden administration and Congress will give airlines more aid early next year.

Credit…Amr Alfiky/The New York Times

Black Friday has long been the biggest shopping day of the year, with doorbuster deals inspiring some die-hard shoppers to camp out all night in front of big-box stores.

But as coronavirus cases climb across the country and public health officials beg people to avoid crowds, will stores still try to lure customers inside? And if they do, will customers take the bait and show up?

“This year is going to be a Black Friday unlike any other,” said Kelly O’Keefe, managing partner at the Brand Federation, a consulting firm. “We’re not going to have crowds knocking down Walmart’s door this year. There will be fewer people in stores and there will be much better management of those people.”

Here’s what some of the biggest retailers are doing to keep customers safe on Black Friday this year:

Best Buy said it was selling this year’s new gaming consoles online only, to avoid lines

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