Christmas travel: TSA screens 1 million over 2 consecutive days for 1st time since COVID-19 pandemic hit

NEW YORK -- For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in the U.S., the Transportation Security Administration screened more than one million people for two consecutive days.

The TSA said it screened more than 1,066,747 Friday and 1,073,563 Saturday, just one week ahead of the Christmas holiday. For comparison, 2,608,088 were screened on Dec. 18, 2019, and 2,487,987 were screened on Dec. 19, 2020.

The American Automobile Association also estimates that 84.5 million will travel between Dec. 23 and Jan. 3, down just about 29% from last year.

Major airlines say they're doing everything they can to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including disinfecting flights with electrostatic sprayers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend traveling this holiday season, saying the safest way to celebrate is at home. Anyone planning to travel anyway should check local and statewide COVID-19 restrictions. San Francisco, for example, is mandating a 10-day quarantine for those coming or returning to the city.

Over the last week, the US averaged more than 219,000 new COVID-19 infections a day, according to an analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. There were more than 249,000 infections reported on Friday alone -- another record.

More than 18,000 Americans died of Covid-19 in the past week, adding to the more than 316,000 Americans that have died during the pandemic. The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects that more than 237,000 Americans will die of Covid-19 in the next three months.
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