Christmas is over, and the winter holidays are all but wrapped up. And it seems millions of Americans decided to travel despite warnings from health officials to stay home.

What happened:

The Transportation Security Administration said it screened 1,128,773 people on the day after Christmas. That’s about half of how many people were screened on the same day in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The number is 62,000 less than the people screened on Dec. 23 of this year, which was the most of any day in the coronavirus pandemic so far.
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Warnings against travel

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended people stay home for the winter holidays and avoid travel if possible, which I wrote about for the Deseret News.

  • “The safest way to celebrate winter holidays is at home with the people who live with you. Travel and gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase your chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.”
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What experts said

Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager, said earlier in December that Americans should stay home if possible, according to USA Today.

  • “The best thing for Americans to do in the upcoming holiday season is to stay at home and not travel. ... Cases are rising. Hospitalizations are increasing, Deaths are increasing. We need to try to bend the curve, stop this exponential increase.”
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN he hoped people would be careful on Christmas.

  • “As you might imagine, it’s quite concerning to me,” he said. “This type of travel is risky, particularly if people start congregating when they get to their destination in large crowds, in indoor settings. I’m afraid that if, in fact, we see this happen, we will have a surge that’s superimposed upon the difficult situation we are already in. So, it could be a very difficult January coming up if these things happen.”
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