South Florida in Crucial Time Period for COVID Spread Following Busy Travel Period

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Miami International Airport reported Wednesday that there was a whopping increase in the number of flyers coming through during the Thanksgiving holiday period — the most since the pandemic lockdowns in March.  

From Nov. 20 through Dec. 1, 700,000 passengers landed or departed, MIA reported. The busiest day was Sunday, Nov. 29, with 75,000 passengers.  

Now comes the potential fallout.  

“We all want to see our families. We all would love to have the traditional holidays,” said Florida International University infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty, adding that we are in a defining moment when it comes to the virus spreading.

“This is a time when we have this highly transmissible virus going around that is leading to a lot of problems, not the least of which is the overcrowding we are having at hospitals, which in turn leads to all kinds of health care problems for our entire community,” Marty said.

Marty added that hopefully people are being smart about their potential exposure.

“When you went away to another household, was it held outdoors? Were you in a separate table? Take a look at what you actually did and think about that,” Marty said.

The CDC Wednesday updated its guidelines saying people can reduce the quarantine period from 14 days to 10 if you don't have any symptoms. If you test negative and have no symptoms, a seven-day period is enough.

“You’re giving time to get a test. Get the test results. Hopefully have a negative result and be able to resume normal activities," Marty said.

Marty added that if you can quarantine, 14 days the safest approach.

“Don’t go back to a situation where you could be infecting more vulnerable people until you know you are not infected," she said.

Experts say this week is critical because how those who did go spend Thanksgiving with others handle themselves is going to play a major role in what the rate of cases looks like later in December. The pandemic numbers are rising and Hanukkah and Christmas are not far off.

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