Michigan health officials urge taking COVID precautions before Thanksgiving travel

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 10:32 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2021 at 10:58 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - In 2019, the Bureau of Transportation says 8.9 billion trips taken for Thanksgiving. Last year, it dropped to 6.3.

After being asked to take a year off from their Thanksgiving traditions, that number is expected to spike. Health officials want to make sure that doesn’t mean an increase in COVID-19 cases.

AAA’s Adrienne Woodland said, “We anticipate that people who plan to travel for Thanksgiving will probably still take those trips despite higher gas prices.”

She said there isn’t a whole lot deterring people from taking those vacations for Thanksgiving.

“What we found, particularly with travel, they’ll usually find other ways to save,” Woodland said. “They may not go out to eat as much or save on some activities.”

AAA is expecting travel numbers to reach pre-pandemic levels. With that being the case, Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail is encouraging eligible folks to consider getting their COVID booster before boarding a plane or hitting the road.

“You know, we’re two weeks away from Thanksgiving right now,” Vail said. “Getting a booster at this point in time could be a wise choice.”

Vail said there’s quite a few people who haven’t gotten the COVID booster because they didn’t think they qualified. However, there’s factors other than being immunocompromised and older than 65, which play into a person’s eligibility.

“There’s also a list of high risk professions,” Vail said. “Healthcare, teachers, law enforcement. Some other professions like that are also considered high risk.”

Vail also added that right now Michigan is seeing another spike in COVID cases. However, this time she says it’s expected.

COVID numbers along with other respiratory illnesses tend to rise this time of year.

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