For Sunday through Saturday, there was a 3.4% increase in traveler during Thanksgiving week versus the prior week. Which is inline with the week over week variation of slowly returning air traffic, as has occurred for months. The prior week did see a +10% increase but in recent weeks, the week over week change has been about -6 to +8%.
That does not mean there will or will not be a spike in new cases next week as there are many other factors in play.
Meanwhile, the media does its usual context free scary and misleading news report: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans to avoid travel for Thanksgiving, but millions have flown since that warning. “
Yes, about the same number of millions that flew the week before!
This chart, updated through Saturday of Thanksgiving week, makes this clear – there was no huge increase in Thanksgiving holiday travel via air.
Update: The media catches up after the fact.
Stated another way, all of the scary pronouncements and headlines are just stupid and not true. (Note – even car travel was down sharply year over year – there is no specific estimate yet, nor is there a week over week estimate. Like air travel, it was probably not as large as claimed before the event.)
CDC update 11/30/2020
Note that due to the holiday, some reports may be delayed – we could yet see this curve change shape in the coming week. However, the slope has been moderating for weeks and per other data, there are indications that this trend is real. Time will tell, particularly as the government has asked everyone to get tested – mass screening using a diagnostic test – which will generate false positives. False positives can be taken into consideration and controlled – if they want to.