The number of people traveling to mark Thanksgiving increased as new coronavirus cases reached 200,000 a day in the United States. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided direction last November 19, 2020, urging Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving. However, many people still intended to travel over the holiday week. On November 20, 2020, the number of travelers screened at US airport security checkpoints surpassed 1 million for only the second time following March.

Many exhausted Americans wanted to spend their leisure time with their family and friends for Thanksgiving. However, they had encountered another risk as they thought of declining travel plans at the last minute or continuing as COVID-19 cases mounted. Gail Duilio, an ex-public health nurse in Portland, Oregon, had contemplated not flying to Minnesota for the holiday and her mother’s 93rd birthday. She said that, when she was making the arrangements several weeks ago, she felt the threat vs. advantages weighed on the side of going.