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Post-holiday air travel highest since March 16, TSA finds

Almost 1.18 million people were screened at U.S. airports on Sunday, marking the busiest day in air travel since the coronavirus pandemic led to widespread restrictions nationwide in March.

The Transportation Security Administration said it screened 1,176,091 travelers on Sunday at security checkpoints, following nearly 1.1 million people who were screened Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. Sunday’s air travel is the highest since March 16 when 1.2 million people were screened.

CDC experts recommended that Americans spend Thanksgiving with people they live with and refrain from traveling in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

“Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year,” the CDC wrote.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that travel around the Thanksgiving holiday may lead to a “surge upon a surge” of coronavirus cases, the Associated Press reported.

As of Nov. 30, more than 13.3 million Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University, and more than 266,000 have died nationwide.

On Friday, more than 200,000 new cases of the coronavirus were reported alone — a record high for daily cases, per Johns Hopkins University.

The first time more than 1 million passengers were screened since March was Oct. 18, when TSA screened 1,031,505 travelers.

Sunday’s air travel was lower than last year’s, when at least 2.8 million people were screened, according to TSA.

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Summer Lin is a McClatchy Real-Time News Reporter. She graduated from Columbia University School of Journalism and was previously a News and Politics Writer for Bustle News.

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