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Traveling in a pandemic this Labor Day

Labor Day Travel_MGN

This Labor Day people were looking to get out of the house even if that meant traveling by car or plane to another city.

News Channel 3’s Caitlin Thropay was out at several gas stations and The Palm Springs International Airport to see why people chose to travel during a pandemic.

“We went to go visit family and now we're just making our way home,” Martan Guzman told News Channel 3. He's visiting from San Diego.

We caught up with some more people filling up their gas tank before hitting the roads to drive back from where they came from.

“We got a house we could rent for the weekend and it was nice, not very crowded," Scott Silverman said who was visiting from Los Angeles. "We really just needed a break. We’ve avoided a lot of travel over the whole last seven months. We needed something to do. We wanted to get away,” Silverman shared.

Despite Riverside County still being in the widespread infection tier, people weren’t discouraged from visiting the Coachella Valley.

“I don’t know if it was a safer option, it was just something different to do,” Brandy Doakes said who was visiting from Los Angeles as well.

AAA didn’t release a Labor Day travel forecast this year, however they predicted Americans would take almost 700 million trips by car from July 1 through September 30.

When we visited The Palm Springs International Airport on Labor Day we noticed the crowds of people were coming in waves.

“We came here to get out of the house from Dallas," Jamie Lamdoz said. "We’ve been quarantining since February working from home mostly and it was nice to just not be in our house and to be somewhere which has a good amount of safe restrictions with regards to indoor dining and we didn’t feel at all at risk,” he said.

United, Alaska and American Airlines all said their flights leaving Palm Springs on Labor Day were full.

According to The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), they screened almost one million people Friday and about a half a million people Saturday for Labor Day travel.\ That’s the most air travelers since March when the pandemic began.

“Get out of the house and do nothing. It was perfect,” Adrian White also visiting from Dallas told News Channel 3.

We asked White if he had any concerns traveling by plane during a pandemic.

“I’m nervous but I think we just have to weigh the pros and the cons and what risks are out there and just be sensible,” White said.

Traveling or not, local health experts had raised a lot of concern about this holiday weekend. The worry is that additional social mixing over the Labor Day holiday would bring a spike in coronavirus cases like we saw after both Memorial and Independence day holidays.

Coronavirus / News Headlines / Top Stories / Travel

Caitlin Thropay

Caitlin Thropay is the Weekend Morning Anchor and Lifestyle Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3, The Desert’s News Leader. Learn more about Caitlin here.

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