An alarming flight map shows the staggering number of flights over the United States two days ahead of Thanksgiving — despite officials urging Americans not to travel for the holiday amid surging coronavirus cases.
FlightRadar24, which tracks flight paths in real-time, reported 6,972 flights in the skies above North America as of noon Tuesday — fewer than the 7,630 flights on the same day in 2019 but more than the 6,815 flights on the same day in 2018.
Over the weekend, the Transporation Security Administration said it screened more than 3 million travelers at US airports — with 1,047,934 on Sunday alone, making it the busiest travel day since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Thanksgiving travel rush comes despite guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advising Americans to reconsider their Thanksgiving travel plans.
“Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19,” the website said. “Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.”
Meanwhile, in many states, including New York, governors have advised residents to not hold typical family events or other small gatherings in order to mitigate the spread of the virus.
The United States has reported more than 12.5 million cases of COVID-19, resulting in at least 258,827 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data as of Tuesday afternoon.