More Than 3 Million People Traveled in 3 Days Despite CDC Advising to Stay Home, TSA Says

Airports across the nation are seeing a record number of travelers as public health officials advise staying home this holiday season amid surging COVID-19 cases.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, more than 3 million people were screened at airports over the weekend as people began traveling for the holidays.

A daily tally from the TSA shows that officials screened 1,064,619 people on Sunday, 1,073,563 on Saturday and 1,066,747 on Friday, marking the first time since March with checkpoint travel numbers over 1 million on consecutive days, USA Today reported.

Compared to last year's numbers, however, the daily totals are still down about 60 percent, or 1.5 million passengers, each day.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines for how to celebrate the holidays this year, urging everyone to avoid traveling and to instead only "celebrate at home with the people who live with you."

These guidelines are similar to the ones put out by the CDC for Thanksgiving.

"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," the CDC stated.

The organization also adds that, should traveling be necessary, "testing can help you do so more safely."

Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci shared that he is keeping his Christmas gathering small this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and asked other Americans to do the same.

Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist, said in a recent interview for The Washington Post's "Power Up" newsletter that he and his wife, Christine Grady, are not seeing their three adult daughters — Megan, Alison and Jennifer — on Christmas for the first time in the girls' lives.

“I'm going to be with my wife — period, Fauci, 79, said. “The Christmas holiday is a special holiday for us because Christmas Eve is my birthday. And Christmas Day is Christmas Day. And they are not going to come home … That's painful. We don't like that. But that's just one of the things you're going to have to accept as we go through this unprecedented challenging time."

With the U.S. experiencing record-number cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations, Fauci pleaded for Americans to take the necessary precautions during the holidays.

“Stay at home as much as you can, keep your interactions to the extent possible to members of the same household," he said. "This cannot be business as usual this Christmas because we're already in a very difficult situation, and we're going to make it worse, if we don't do something about it."

As of Tuesday, there have been more than 18 million cases of the coronavirus in the United States and at least 319,763 deaths, according to data from The New York Times.

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