Pandemic record-setting number of travelers took to skies for Memorial Day holiday, TSA numbers show

Officials with the Transportation Security Administration said they screened nearly 2 million passengers at airports nationwide on Friday, a record-setting return to air travel amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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Officials with the TSA said 1.9 million people were screened Friday, the highest number of travelers seen in airports since March 2020, according to Politico. On May 28, 2019, 2.5 million travelers were screened at airports, though on this day last year only about 327,000 took to the skies for the holiday.

On Thursday, officials said they screened about 1.8 million passengers.

>> Related: More than 37 million Americans expected to travel over 5-day Memorial Day weekend, AAA says

Last week, officials with AAA said they expected a 60% jump in travel over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, with over 37 million Americans expected to travel 50 miles or more from home.

The number of people opting to travel farther from home is expected to continue to rise as more people get vaccinated against COVID-19.

>> Related: Coronavirus: Half of U.S. adults fully vaccinated, CDC data shows

Nationwide, just 50.5% of the total population has gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S., according to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 41% of the population -- 135 million people -- have so far been fully vaccinated.

>> Related: Coronavirus: New COVID-19 cases fall to lowest levels since last June

As of Monday afternoon, 33.2 million COVID-19 cases have been reported across the country, resulting in more than 594,000 deaths, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. Globally, 170.4 million COVID-19 cases have been reported, resulting in 3.5 million deaths.