By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Even though health officials and the Center for Disease Control advised against traveling for Thanksgiving, TSA data shows some of the highest travel numbers of the pandemic leading up to the holiday.

There were three days – Nov. 20, Nov. 22, and Nov. 25 – with over 1 million travelers throughout the country. The 25th, the day before Thanksgiving, saw the highest traveler number since March 16.

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In 2019, days leading up to Thanksgiving regularly saw over 2 million travelers.

In the days before the holiday, Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm asked people to “reconsider” their Thanksgiving plans. Nurses and doctors, who are feeling the strain of COVID, asked Minnesotans to limit their dinners to just their own households, instead of inviting and thus potentially exposing extended family and friends.

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On Thanksgiving day, hospitalizations hit a record high of more than 90,000 people according to the COVID Tracking Project. About 50 Americans are now dying every hour.

The only other day during the pandemic that saw over 1 million travelers was on Oct. 18.

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