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Packed holiday travel at PBIA amid omicron surge

Fears of an Omicron surge is not stopping people from leaving home
Busy PBIA weekend
Posted at 10:00 PM, Dec 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 11:51:26-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — It was one of the busiest weekends at Palm Beach International Airport. Many folks were flying in and out Sunday to visit families for the holidays. Fears of an omicron surge were not stopping people from leaving home.

“I am not really scared because I had the vaccine and everything so hopefully that works,” said traveler Crystal Green.

There were long lines at the TSA. According to AAA, with vaccines widely available– conditions are much different compared to this time last year and many people feel more comfortable to travel.

Sean Kirkendall was at PBIA traveling to Atlanta. He said he has not gotten COVID and had at least one shot against it. But says it is a different story for his loved ones.

“A bunch of my family has been getting it. It is kind of weird because everyone I know is getting it right now,” said Kirkendall. “I haven’t gotten it luckily, that is why we are traveling. Hopefully I don’t get it.”

However, with the record number of travelers there are concerns there could be another wave of Covid cases.

“We’ve seen that elsewhere in the US. We know that is doing that in Florida and undoubtedly the cases will start going up in Palm Beach County,” said Dr. Kitonga Kiminyo, infectious disease specialist & the chairman of T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society’s Covid-19 Taskforce.

There were long lines Sunday at the South County Civic Center in Delray Beach to get a COVID-19 test.

“We need to continue getting tested. It's going to be important to know if Omicron is increasing in Palm Beach County and that’s the only way to know,” Kiminyo said.

To help control the spread, medical experts are advocating people to get tested and boosted.

“If you’re vaccinated, the chances of you getting severely ill, getting hospitalized or even dying from this latest variant is a lot less,” Kiminyo said.