PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Fewer people are planning to travel for Thanksgiving this year because of COVID-19. According to AAA Travel, more Americans are planning to stay home.
AAA Travel estimates a 10% drop in travel with only about 50 million Americans choosing to go somewhere for Thanksgiving. That’s a drop from 55 million in 2019.
They expect the number to continue to drop as cases of COVID-19 continue to surge.
Last month, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy pleaded with residents to “plan for a smaller table this year.”
“We do not want a Thanksgiving dinner to turn tragic because someone unwittingly exposed a large number of their family members to the coronavirus,” Murphy said on Oct. 15. “We urge you to not gather around the dining room table with anyone outside your immediate household.”
Philadelphia health officials are also asking residents to stay home this Thanksgiving and holiday season. Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley recommended last month that Philadelphians cancel holiday plans and stay home as much as possible and not socialize.
“We are recommending that people cancel their planned family holiday gatherings. We are not going to get past this epidemic by Thanksgiving, by Hanukkah, or by Christmas,” Farley said on Oct. 27.
The city is expected to announce new COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, though Farley said Friday night that it will not be a citywide lockdown.
On Saturday, Pennsylvania state health officials reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases (5,551) since the beginning of the pandemic. The statewide total stands at 259,938 COVID-19 cases. As of 11:59 p.m., Friday, there were 50 new COVID-19-related deaths in the state, bringing the death toll to 9,274.
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