COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The U.S. could see a surge of Covid cases as people return home from their Thanksgiving holiday.
Health experts advised people to avoid traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, but over one million people were screened on Sunday at U.S. airports according to the Transportation Security Administration.
The number of airport travelers this year was far lower than the record breaking number of people that flew for Thanksgiving last year. However, this Sunday was still the busiest air travel day that the U.S. has seen since mid-March.
Muscogee County has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases over the span of the Thanksgiving holidays.
“We did see a moderate increase at the beginning of November, and as we got closer to Thanksgiving, the numbers have gone up,” Pamela Kirkland, public information officer for the Georgia Department of Public Health, said. “When I’m talking about numbers I’m talking about the numbers in the last two weeks.”
For people that did travel for the holidays, it is important to wait a few days before getting tested to make sure the virus has built up to detectable levels.
“What you want to do is wait if you think you’ve been exposed to someone who was positive with COVID-19, at least until the 10th day of the quarantine,” Kirkland said. “If you were exposed and you know that, you should quarantine when you get home. That way your body will have enough of the virus in it to pick up on the test.”
In regards to people making plans to travel in December, their recommendation is to avoid flying if at all possible, and to choose alternatives such as driving or simply staying home.
“I think the best thing would be to have a small gathering with members of your own household,” Kirkland said. “But people are going to make their own plans and do what they need to do, so you have to be ready to take responsibility and be ready for any kind of consequences that might have.”
The Georgia Department of Public Health is currently working towards preparations for the vaccine, but they advise that people still continue to follow guidelines in the meantime.