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Airports see largest crowds since the start of the pandemic during the Thanksgiving holiday

Posted at 7:26 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 19:26:17-05

ROMULUS, Michigan (WXYZ) — While Thanksgiving will look very different for many families due to COVID-19, some are still planning large gatherings. There were some of the biggest crowds since the pandemic started at Detroit Metro Airport in recent days, even with airline bookings down more than 50 percent from last year

AAA is forecasting a 10 percent overall decline in Thanksgiving travel compared with last year as millions are traveling to see family despite the risks of COVID-19.

“It is not a secret that our numbers are going up,” said Dr. Mouhanad Hammami, the Chief Health Strategist for Wayne County.

Dr Hammami says he is concerned about what is coming. He says when you travel you increase your contacts with others and thereby your risk of contracting the virus.

“This Thanksgiving we are advocating to limit the Thanksgiving dinner physically to one- or two-family units,” Dr. Hammami said.

He says large gatherings will lead to tragedies. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is projecting steep increases in cases and deaths in the coming weeks.

Dr. Hammani says it is important to know that even if you are not in a most-at-risk category, the whole idea of public health efforts is we all need to work together to fight health threats effectively. That means social distancing, limiting our interactions with others and wearing masks.

“We have seen models that say in countries where mandated face covering has been established, that they dropped their transmission rate tremendously,” Dr. Hammani said.

He says the evidence is clear and people have a responsibility to act upon it for the people they love.

“If you know it is effective. If you know it works, you probably should have a face covering,” he said.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

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