Thanksgiving Travel

San Diegans Plan for Thanksgiving Amid Rising COVID-19 Numbers

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Thanksgiving Day is a week from Thursday and usually means long lines at the airport and traffic jams on highways, but this year, that isn't likely to be the case.

For Susan Swan and her husband, it's usually a pretty easy decision. They pack up the car and drive to Arizona to spend the holidays with family. But this year?

“Because the numbers are so high, we made the hard decision to cancel,” Swan said. “We’re just staying here in beautiful San Diego.”

On one hand, it's been a rough year and the couple said they could benefit from family time.

“It’s a real tradition we have with them,” Swan said. “To always be with the family -- they're really fun and festive."

But 2020 is a year like no other. Health experts are warning that fun and festive is too risky and potentially dangerous for the people you love.

“We’re sad about not being with our family, but it's the right thing to do,” Swan said.

Lindsey Yuque and her husband also canceled their holiday trip, in their case, to Los Angeles.

The CDC says people should avoid Thanksgiving travel this year due to the pandemic. NBC 7's Nicole Gomez is at the San Diego International Airport with more details.

“We were going to go out to LA to visit family,” Yuque said. “But with the new restrictions, we're just staying home. Probably do a Facetime with the family over Thanksgiving dinner.”

The couple welcomed a new  bundle of joy to the family this year, and they hoped to introduce him to the rest of the family.

“It’s better to be safe,” Yuque said.

Clyde Fernandez feels their pain. He planned a trip to Arizona to meet his grandkids but canceled those plans and will host some family here at home instead. 

“Its a holiday, and holidays are meant to be spent with family,” Fernandez said.

Carly Leininger isn't canceling her plans to go home for Thanksgiving.

“I am driving to Tahoe,” said Leininger. “It's where I grew up. [I’m going] to see my parents and sisters.”

Leininger will try to play it safe by taking a COVID-19 test prior to her visit. 

Leninger isn't alone: The American Automobile Association estimates that close to 50 million Americans will travel for Thanksgiving this year. Still, San Diego County health officials are reminding everyone that staying home this holiday season is the best way to protect ourselves and those around us.

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