SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Christmas travel boomed in the U.S. despite dangerously increasing coronavirus hospitalizations.
For four days straight after Christmas day, over one million people were screened per day in airports nationwide, the Transportation Security Administration reported on Wednesday.
If you include the days before Christmas as well, TSA says over one million travelers were screened in a single day in seven of the 12 past days.
Before the holiday travel surge, TSA was rarely screening over 850,000 travelers in a single day.
During the spring, single-day travelers were teetering in the 100,000-300,000s. Even in the summer months, the number of fliers stayed mostly below 800,000 per day.
Health officials have repeatedly warned that celebrating the holidays like a non-pandemic year would have dire impacts on coronavirus trends.
Over the last 14 days, COVID hospitalizations in California have increased by 36.5% statewide, according to Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s health secretary.
The Bay Area region is at 10.4% ICU capacity as of Tuesday, with just over a week left to bump up capacity to avoid an extended stay-at-home order.
Two California regions, SoCal and San Joaquin Valley, had their orders extended indefinitely.
With back-to-back holidays, health officials are pleading for people to stay home for New Year’s Eve.
The United States on Tuesday recorded 176,974 new COVID-19 cases in a single day, as well as 1,783 new deaths.
Over the last seven days, California has had an average of 95.3 daily cases per 100,000 people.
Although COVID-19 vaccinations are being administered every day, the U.S. has so far only vaccinated about two million people.
And now, the U.S. has confirmed its first reported case of a new coronavirus strain first discovered overseas. Officials say the Colorado man diagnosed with the mutation had no recent history of travel.
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