Most Delawareans will not be traveling for Thanksgiving, AAA announced today, and close to 50% of those staying home say it is because of COVID-19 concerns.
The numbers reflect that messaging from the state has hit home.
“We need to celebrate Thanksgiving safely this year and stay vigilant,” Gov. John Carney said in a Facebook video posted Wednesday that is called a virtual Thanksgiving celebration with the Delaware Council of Faith-Based Partnerships. “The best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from COVID-19 this Thanksgiving is to limit gatherings to members of your own household, people you have been living with during the pandemic.”
Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health, said that eating with people who are not in your household, especially if you are sitting close by, is one of the ways the virus is easily passed from person to person.
The survey of 683 Delaware drivers was conducted Nov. 12-13 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.8%. It’s roughly in line with AAA surveys in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
In Delaware, 86% are not traveling for the holiday. Of those, 49% are not traveling because of COVID-19.
Of those still planning to travel for Thanksgiving, 78% plan to drive, 19% plan to fly and 3% plan to use another form of transportation, such as a bus or train.
Those who drive will find emptier roads – “lower than we have seen in years,” AAA said – and cheaper gas. Gas prices nationally are nearly 50 cents cheaper than this time last year, with October averages the lowest in more than 15 years.
“COVID-19 adds an extra layer of complexity to all interactions, including roadside emergency calls, so this year it is more important than ever for all motorists to ensure that their vehicles are road-ready, even if they are just driving across town,” said Ken Grant, public and government affairs manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Over last year’s Thanksgiving, AAA responded to almost 900 calls for emergency roadside assistance in Delaware.
AAA maintains an interactive map with COVID-19 related restrictions for the United States and Canada at TripTik.AAA.com.