Health Officials Warn That Spring Break Travel Could Trigger New Outbreaks

Health officials are cautioning against spring break travel over concerns that it could trigger new outbreaks. Joy Benedict reports.

Video Transcript

AMY JOHNSON: Coronavirus cases and deaths drop across the Southland. Health officials are warning that spring break travelers could trigger new outbreaks after they return home. KCAL 9's Joy Benedict is live at LAX with more for us. Good morning, Joy.

JOY BENEDICT: Good morning, Amy. Yeah, that obviously is the concern as folks are moving around. They're feeling more comfortable because some are being vaccinated, that folks want to get out, and it's understandable. But health officials are obviously cautioning against that.

And it's easy to see how the crowds are continuing to grow out here at LAX. We're in front of terminal seven at United. If you look over to the left-hand side, you can see there is quite a crowd that is growing inside that terminal, as folks are checking in for those early morning flights, as this could possibly shape up to be the largest day for air travel since the pandemic began.

And of course, busy airports, or at least relatively busy airports-- COVID busy airports-- are something that we have seen a little bit over the last few months. But for the last 15 days, TSA has screened more than a million passengers a day every day. Even around the holidays, the longest streak at more than a million passengers was just five days in a row, with the largest day on record since the pandemic began being last Sunday at 1.54 million passengers screened by TSA. Of course, this time last year, the numbers were double that. And with this Sunday's travel, it could be even more.

And of course, more people at the airports means more people in town, right? Take a look at yesterday from Santa Monica, as folks were flooding the beaches, the boardwalks, the restaurants, and of course the sidewalks, doing many activities in and around the community, as folks have been coming to the Los Angeles area from places here in Southern California, all over the country as well. And of course, this week, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention advised against that type of travel, simply because they are concerned about not everyone being vaccinated yet.

Americans vaccinated, according to the CDC, is at about 92 million Americans have received one dose. But remember, one dose does not mean that you're vaccinated. And only about 15% of our population is considered to be fully vaccinated. And some spring breakers that we're speaking with say they feel like they've taken every precaution possible, and they're just ready to get out and about.

ZAHRA ASHRAFI: So we've been really careful, and we decided not to really go anywhere or travel until we were vaccinated.

ARMON GANJAVIAN: If we were to go out and not wear a mask and get infected, you know, that would just be a terrible thing for us to do. And I don't really think I could forgive myself for doing something like that.

JOY BENEDICT: And don't forget, LA County is obviously very cautious. There is still a travel advisory in place asking anyone to come in from LA County to self-quarantine for 10 days. And you are asked not to leave more than 120 miles from the county, unless it's for essential purposes. Amy.