Thousands pass through Detroit Metro Airport for holiday travel amid COVID-19 spike

Thousands pass through Detroit Metro Airport for holiday travel amid COVID-19 spike
Posted at 1:19 PM, Nov 25, 2020

For weeks, the CDC and health officials in Michigan have warned residents not to travel for the holidays, but instead, to enjoy Thanksgiving with immediate family due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

However, thousands passed through Detroit Metro Airport Wednesday morning, opting to travel anyway.

The TSA reports that as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, more than 912,000 Americans chose to travel.

Dave Maxwell, who lives in Baltimore, said he works remotely and felt he just couldn't miss the chance to return home.

“You just try to kind of be as safe as you can and get home and see family," Maxwell said. "It’s the holidays, it’s hard not to.”

A steady stream of people traveled through DTW all morning, with some doing what they could to avoid crowds.

"We got down here way early to try and beat the rush to avoid," traveler Brett Petersmark said. "Less contact."

Dr. Meilan Han, a pulmonologist with the University of Michigan who tracks COVID-19 risk factors, said the flight itself won't pose the biggest problem, given increased safety measures and air filtration.

Han said it's the airport people need to think about, along with traveling with people who are older with chronic medical conditions.

For those opting not to travel, the night before Thanksgiving is always a busy time for DUIs. However, Michigan State Police expect to see less of that this weekend because of Michigan's epidemic order restrictions, meaning bars are closed until Dec. 8.

State police will be out patrolling as normal, focusing on seat belt use, speed and distracted driving.