Health officials are pleading with Americans to avoid traveling ahead of Christmas as the nation is still seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases.
During a press briefing on Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Covid incident manager Henry Walke said, “The best thing for Americans to do in the upcoming holiday season is to stay at home and not travel.”
“Cases are rising. Hospitalizations are increasing. Deaths are increasing. We need to try to bend the curve, stop this exponential increase,” he added.
While the CDC is urging Americans to avoid non-essential travel, it recommends that if people decide to travel, they get tested one to three days before traveling.
Additionally, the agency recommends Americans get tested for the virus three to five days after their trip.
The CDC released similar recommendations before Thanksgiving as it encouraged people to avoid travel while the country is regularly adding over 100,000 new cases a day.
“More than 1 million COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States over the last seven days. As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with,” the CDC said in a statement.
It added, “Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.”
Despite officials’ pleas for Americans to stay home for Thanksgiving, the Transportation Security Administration said it screened 1.17 million people on Sunday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted that many Americans likely did not listen to the advice of health experts. He added, “What we expect, unfortunately, as we go through the next couple of weeks into December, we might see a surge super-imposed on that surge that we’re already in.”
The U.S. reported another 184,294 new cases and 2,610 deaths on Tuesday. Over the past 14 days, the country has been adding an average of 161,245 cases per day.