Despite warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that travel will lead to more cases of coronavirus, nearly 1.3 million people went through U.S. airports on Sunday (December 27) — the highest level of air travel since March 15.
According to the Transportation Security Administration, the new pandemic travel record was set after 1,284,599 people, many of whom were returning from holiday travel, were screened, beating the TSA's previous record of 1,191,123, travelers, which was set on December 23.
More than 10 million people have traveled by air since December 18, the AP reports. Sunday was the sixth day that screenings exceeded 1 million people.
News of the holiday travel rush came after The Atlantic's report that 118,720 people were in American hospitals on Sunday as a result of becoming infected with COVID-19.
The CDC previously urged Americans not to travel for the holidays, noting the surge in coronavirus cases following Thanksgiving.
"The best thing for Americans to do in the upcoming holiday season is to stay at home and not travel,'' Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC's COVID-19 incident manager, said earlier this month. "Cases are rising. Hospitalizations are increasing, Deaths are increasing. We need to try to bend the curve, stop this exponential increase."
The number of reported cases per 100,000 Americans has risen to 56.7 on average over the past week, according to the CDC. Meanwhile, the total number of deaths reached 330,901 as of Sunday afternoon.
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