TAMPA, Fla. — Millions of Americans are making their way back home in the midst of a global pandemic, health experts are concerned about transmission rates in the weeks ahead.

What You Need To Know

  • The holiday rush has seen 9 million travelers this year

  • Healthcare professionals are concerned about cases caused by holiday gatherings

  • CDC will monitor cases following holiday season

New travel numbers released on Sunday show that many ignored the health experts and traveled during the Christmas holidays.

TSA says that there were 1.1 million passengers at airports as of Saturday, and 9 million travelers since the holiday rush began on December 18.

Christian and Kimberly San Juan were among the millions of people who traveled over the Christmas holiday. They said it was a well-deserved trip to see family after a very trying year. 

“We’ve had to change our wedding plans and even our honeymoon plans so this is a blessing that I got time off to go see my family,” Christian said.

The San Juans are both healthcare workers working non-stop in North Dakota where COVID-19 deaths are the fourth highest per capita in the country. The couple also contracted the virus.

“Both of us all fortunately got a mild case which is great, we’re young but it’s not the same for everybody,” said Kimberly. Both her and her husband have since recovered.

An increase in holiday travel is why healthcare workers are worried about what could happen in the coming weeks.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci sounded the alarm on a potential surge of COVID-19 infections in a Sunday news show.

“I've described it as a 'surge upon a surge' because if you look at the slope, the incline of cases as we have experienced as we have gone into the late fall and soon to be early winter, it is really quite troubling,” Fauci said.

Dr. Fauci and others in his field continue to stress the importance of taking precautions to prevent further spread, which is what the San Juans plan on doing during their visit home.

“Wear mask even after exposure and just follow your local guidelines and ordinances,” Fauci insisted.

The Centers for Disease Control and prevention say it will continue to closely monitor transmission numbers to see if there is a surge in cases like was seen after Thanksgiving.