NEW ORLEANS — The nation’s top public health agency is telling people not to travel this Thanksgiving.
The warning comes as the Coronavirus is surging again across the country.
“In the last 7 days we have seen over a million cases reported of COVID-19,” Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz from the CDC said. “We've also seen dramatic increases in hospitalizations and also increasing deaths.”
There were some lines at Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans.
But nothing like you would expect to see on the Friday before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Ron Stewart from Fairhope, Alabama was traveling to San Antonio.
He admits to being a bit reluctant to fly these days.
“I would not have chosen to travel had it not been for the grandson,” Stewart said.
Stewart is meeting his grandson at college then driving back to Alabama.
He says he’s doing what he can to protect himself.
“This mask, sanitizing, I have in my bag hand wipes that I will wipe down the hotel room that I’m staying in,” Stewart said. “I have hand sanitizers and I’m keeping my distance from other people the best that I can.”
April Nielson is heading to Guatemala.
She has no fear of flying during the pandemic.
“I fly about once a week,” Nielsen said. “(The airlines) take strict precautions with making sure everyone has a mask. If not, they’ll provide one for you. They give you sanitizer and hand wipes to wipe everything down, so it is safe to travel.”
The CDC is also warning families not to spend the holiday with people from outside their household.
Loyola students Liana Tarte and Marisela Guity plan to play it safe when they get back home to Boston.
“When I get home I’m just going to lay low and not do too much,” Tarte said. “I’m probably going to get tested when I get back to make sure I’m good.”
“It’s just one quick flight and then I’m probably going to quarantine when I get home,” Guity said.
Armstrong is taking some additional measures to help keep travelers safe.
The measures include physical distancing markers and Plexiglas partitions throughout the terminal, stepped up efforts to keep the facility clean and sanitized, and face masks are required at the airport.
For the Thanksgiving holiday period of Tuesday, Nov. 24 through Monday, Nov. 30, departures are up 10 percent at MSY compared to the week prior and down 42 percent compared to the same period last year.
If you decide to travel here are some tips:
- Limit touch points.
- Check in online.
- Bring a carry on.
Follow all of the CDC guidelines including wearing masks in public staying at least 6 feet away from others and washing your hands frequently.