Flight map shows many flights before Thanksgiving amid pandemic

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A flight map shows the sheer number of flights over the United States two days after Thanksgiving.FlightRadar24, which tracks flight paths in real time, reported 6,972 flights in the skies over North America as of noon Tuesday – less than the 7,630 same-day flights in 2019 but more than the 6,815 same-day flights in 2018.

The map shows commercial passenger flights, as well as cargo planes, private jets, government planes, and everything in the sky.

Over the weekend, the Transportation Security Administration said it screened more than 3 million travelers at U.S. airports – with 1,047,934 on Sunday alone, making it the busiest travel day since the start of the pandemic.

But the number of people passing through TSA checkers was 57% lower than 2019 levels.

Thanksgiving 2020 will still be marked by a peak in airport travel – but passenger numbers are expected to be about half of what they were last year. Millions more are expected to travel by car.

The Thanksgiving travel rush comes despite advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advising Americans to reconsider their Thanksgiving travel plans.

“Travel can increase your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19,” the website says. “Postponing the trip and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.”

Meanwhile, in many states, including New York City, governors have advised residents not to hold typical family events or other small gatherings in order to mitigate the spread of the virus.

New York airports are expected to accommodate 670,000 travelers between Nov. 23 and 29, according to aviation analysis firm OAG – up from 1.5 million last Thanksgiving.

The United States has reported more than 12.5 million cases of COVID-19, resulting in at least 258,827 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University as of Tuesday afternoon.



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