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Health officials fear wave of new COVID infections will following Thanksgiving travel

Dr. Anthony Fauci urged Americans to continue taking precautions to avoid putting added stress on hospitals and to avoid another lockdown.

ATLANTA — Millions of Americans took to the skies and the roads Sunday to head home after the Thanksgiving holiday on what is expected to be the busiest travel day of the pandemic.

Inetta Floyd is one of roughly 1.1 million passengers estimated to have passed through Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport between Monday, Nov. 23 and Sunday, Nov. 29.

"It was pretty much like a normal experience with the exception of wearing a mask," said Floyd.

Transportation officials said travel is down about one-third from the same time in 2019. On Sunday, James Carroll, a traveler in Atlanta, noticed a diminished crowd.

"Less than last year, so, you can really tell that covid had a lot to do with it," he said.

Carroll canceled travel plans over the summer due to the virus and said he was not willing to do that again.  

"I stayed home just to make sure I wouldn't get it but then I got it the next month, so, it didn't matter," he said.

Over the past week, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials said they've processed more than 6 million travelers; the highest in terms of passenger volume since the pandemic began.

This, despite a desperate mid-November warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asking folks to stay home.

Now, experts fear a new wave of covid infections could be on the horizon.

Sunday, the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, urged Americans to continue taking precautions to avoid putting added stress on hospitals and to avoid another lockdown.

This week, the U.S. topped 13 million covid cases with 4 million of those recorded in November, alone.