Coronavirus Chicago: O'Hare buzzes with holiday travelers despite COVID-19 pandemic

Overall travel down, AAA says

Michelle Gallardo Image
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Coronavirus Chicago: O'Hare buzzes with holiday travelers despite COVID-19 pandemic
Chicago's O'Hare airport began buzzing with holiday travelers Wednesday, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Thursday seems to be another crowded day at O'Hare airport, as last minute travelers catch their flights just in time to arrive at their destination for the Christmas holiday.

But, here's a bit of perspective.

Between Sunday and Tuesday of this week, approximately three million people were screened by TSA nationwide. That is a lot of people, but last year that number was nearly seven million on those same dates. It is a dramatic reduction, as most folks choose to either stay put for the holidays or travel by car.

The state's top doctor, Ngozi Ezike, is warning people to not travel and spend the holiday only with those in their household, but at the same time she recognizes the fact that many people will not listen.

"I know some of you won't or cant. And for those of you I ask you think of additional safety measures that you can take as you travel, as you gather, that can make the visits somewhat safer," Ezike said.

RELATED: Holiday travel down for first time in over decade; few still hitting the road despite COVID-19 pandemic

If you are going to travel, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:

1. Consider testing one to three days prior to departure.

2. Get your flu shot before doing so

3. Check travel restrictions before you go.

4. Bring extra supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer.

5. Know when to delay your travel. Do not travel if you or your travel companions are sick.

6. Keep your distance as much as possible from others and keep your nose and mouth covered at all times while in public settings inside crowded transportation options.

RELATED: Millions expected to travel for Christmas, bringing concerns about post-holiday surge

In all, 84.5 million Americans are expected to travel during the 12-day holiday period. The vast majority of them however, about 96% according to AAA, is expected to do so by car.