Though major American airlines have drastically reduced service and slashed much of its traditional in-flight service, hundreds of thousands of people still traveled by air this week, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported.
However, the numbers are dramatically lower than last year, when over two million people were screened each day on record in March.
According to the TSA’s latest checkpoint travel numbers, 203,858 people were screened at checkpoints across the country on March 26. One year ago, in contrast, 2,487,162 people were screened on the same weekday.
Furthermore, 239,234 travelers were screened on Wednesday, 279,018 others on Tuesday, and 331,431 more on Monday – a far cry away from the two million-plus passengers that were screened on the same days in 2019.
Since March 13, when President Trump declared a national emergency, the number of people traveling has declined each day, according to the TSA’s figures.
When reached for comment on the latest data, a spokesperson for the TSA told Fox News the agency posts daily the number of travelers who have been screened at checkpoints across the country, as compared with the same date of the prior year.
The outbreak of the disease, however, has effectively turned the greater travel industry upside down.
“We believe these numbers show a national trend that is of public interest,” the spokesperson said.
In addition, the TSA is operating a new website to answer people's most frequently asked questions about traveling during the pandemic, which includes a national map highlighting where employees have tested positive for the virus.
Across the country, as of Friday, 25 TSA screening agents and 10 non-screening employees have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, the agency said.
On Wednesday, the Senate passed an unprecedented $2 trillion stimulus package to provide aid during the national shutdown over the outbreak. It includes $10 billion in grants to help the country's airports as the aviation sector grapples with the steepest and potentially sustained decline in air travel in history.
For airlines, in particular, the bill includes $46 billion in total for the industry, with $25 billion going to passenger airlines, $4 billion for cargo companies, and $17 billion for companies deemed important to national security.