About 84 million Americans plan to travel over the holidays, according to AAA, despite warnings from healthcare experts to stay home.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its winter holiday guidance saying “the safest way to celebrate winter holidays is at home with the people who live with you. Travel and gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase your chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.”
As the U.S. approaches almost 1,500,000 cases of COVID-19, the country has never been at greater risk due to the pandemic, according to Forbes. The COVID Tracking Project reports a record number of new cases with a listing of the five riskiest states to visit this holiday season:
- Tennessee. This state is at the top of the chart for daily COVID-19 cases, with 128.3 new cases per 100,000 people. The Johns Hopkins University tracking tool shows that the Volunteer State’s positive test rate is 18.1%. According to Forbes, the World Health Organization says that the positive test rate should be under 5%. The state has no mask mandate or required physical distancing.
- Rhode Island. While this state does have a mask mandate, it reports 110.4 new cases daily per 100,000 people and 7.2% of the COVID-19 tests are positive. Governor Gina Raimondo extended restrictions on businesses, gyms, and bars in the nation’s smallest state.
- Arizona. No mask mandate for this state as it reports 91.5 new daily cases per 100,000 people. Several Arizona cities have ordered mask mandates, according to Forbes, including Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson.
- Indiana. Despite a statewide mask mandate, there are 90.2 new daily cases per 100,000 residents and 12.4% of COVID-19 cases are positive. The governor of Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb, said his state was “on fire” with the virus and cracked down on his restrictions on crowd sizes.
- California. According to Forbes, California is breaking records in new cases as well as hospitalizations. There are 87.9 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people and 12.8% of tests are positive. A mask mandate has been in order since June 18.
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