NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Coronavirus concerns continued Sunday due to the number of Americans who traveled for Thanksgiving.
As a result, some officials believe the Tri-State Area could see a surge in cases straight through the new year, CBS2’s Nick Caloway reported.
Millions of Americans traveled against the advice of public health officials and the results could mean even more infections in the coming weeks.
The out-of-control pandemic kept many home over the holiday weekend. Still, travelers did take to the roads and air to make it home for Thanksgiving.
“To see family is always worth it. To see my sister, since I hadn’t seen her since she was pregnant, and probably won’t again until the baby’s here, with everything, was definitely worth it,” said Kyle Collop of Astoria.
“Every place we went, everything was taken care of. So I felt as safe as I could be. And I did not want to miss Thanksgiving with my family,” added Ethel Epstein of Rockland County.
All of the travel likely means COVID-19 cases will surge again.
“We saw what happened post-Memorial Day. Now, we are deeply worried about what could happen post-Thanksgiving because the number of cases, 25,000 versus 180,000 a day, that’s where … that’s where we are deeply concerned,” said Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator.
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New York state’s positivity rate went up from 3.9% to 4.27%. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that’s the highest it has been since May, adding it will get worse before the new year.
“You’re in the holiday season and that is increased social activity, and that means increased infection rate,” Cuomo said. “You’re going to see the rate going up through the holiday season, which ends after the new year.”
In New Jersey, the positivity rate is above 10%. The state’s largest city, Newark, remains under a lockdown advisory.
Mayor Ras Baraka said the restrictions are working, but in the hard-hit East Ward in the Ironbound section, the positivity rate hovers near 40%.
“We are trending in the right direction. We have to keep it up, stay vigilant. Keep fighting, keep pushing, hold the line, and drag these numbers down,” Baraka said.
Health officials say if you traveled for Thanksgiving and attended any large gatherings you should assume you were infected with coronavirus, and get tested.
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