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Study finds 45% fewer travelers on the road for Thanksgiving

A survey conducted by GasBuddy, a travel and navigation app, found that only 35% of American plan to travel for Thanksgiving amid the coronavirus pandemic.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A survey conducted by GasBuddy, a travel and navigation app, found that only 35% of Americans will be traveling for Thanksgiving this year. A sharp decrease from 65% last year. 

Additionally, the site found that gas prices are projected to be the lowest since 2016 at $2.17 per gallon. The national average gas price is due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Around the holiday season last year, the national average gas price was $2.60, according to GasBuddy.

“Gasoline demand has continued to struggle as the coronavirus has kept Americans in their homes and keys out of their cars, working and e-learning from home," said head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, Patrick de Haan. "But with positive outcomes from two vaccine trials, we’re beginning to see optimism return, leading prices to rise slightly just in time for Thanksgiving.” 

The site's survey found that nearly half of the respondents said their travel plans are impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Close to 80% of respondents said lower gas prices would not impact their travel plans. 

The CDC recommends that Americans should be careful "about social gatherings, particularly when members of the family might be at a risk because of their age or their underlying condition." 

Additionally, the CDC recommends that limiting guests, hosting outside activities and encouraging guests to wear masks is the best route to ensure a safe Thanksgiving gathering.

Wednesday, Kentucky imposed restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19 beginning Nov. 20 through the Dec. 13. Among those restrictions was limiting private gatherings to eight or less people. 

“Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times during the year. It is a special time for my family which is normally spent with a lot of extended family,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said during a Nov. 10 briefing. “But this year those larger gatherings can be very dangerous. We are seeing COVID-19 spread and the resulting loss happening more at family and social gatherings than anywhere else right now. This, right now, is the most dangerous time we’ve had with this virus.”

Indiana Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box strongly recommended Hoosiers to not attend large Thanksgiving gatherings and to physically distance as much as possible. 

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