COVID 19 Chicago: O’Hare swarms with holiday travelers before Christmas 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic

CHICAGO (WLS) – Thursday seems to be another busy day at O’Hare Airport, as last-minute travelers take their flights just in time to reach their destination for the Christmas holiday.

But here’s a little perspective.

Between Sunday and Tuesday this week, approximately three million people were tracked by the TSA across the country. It’s a lot of people, but last year that number was almost seven million on the same dates. It is a dramatic reduction, since most people choose to stay on vacation or travel by car.

The state’s chief physician, Ngozi Ezike, is warning people not to travel and spend holidays with family members alone, but at the same time she recognizes the fact that many people will not listen.

“I know that some of you won’t or can’t. And for those of you, I ask you to think of additional security measures that can be taken during the trip, as you can see, that can make visits a little bit safer,” said Ezike.

RELATED: Vacation travel declined for the first time in more than a decade; few are still hitting the road despite the COVID-19 pandemic

If you are traveling, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend:
1. Consider testing one to three days before departure.
2. Get your flu shot before doing this

3. Check travel restrictions before you go.
4. Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
5. Know when to delay your trip. Do not travel if you or your fellow travelers are sick.
6. Keep your distance as far as possible from others and keep your nose and mouth covered at all times while in public places within crowded transportation options.

RELATED: Millions of people are expected to travel for Christmas, raising concerns about the post-holiday increase

In all, 84.5 million Americans are expected to travel during the 12-day vacation period. The vast majority of them, however, about 96% according to AAA, are expected to do so by car.

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