HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- According to AAA, this upcoming Memorial Day weekend is anticipated to hit pre-pandemic travel volumes, with about 39.2 million Americans traveling 50 miles or more from home.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends that one-third of Americans wear masks this week while indoors as covid-19 cases continue to climb nationwide.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services' online COVID-19 dashboard, Harris County leads the state with the greatest number of reported covid-19 cases so far this year.
Dr. Linda Yancey, Infectious Disease Specialist at Memorial Hermann, said it's important for families to pack their masks and wear them indoors or especially in airports when traveling this Memorial Day weekend.
"Even if you are driving," Dr. Yancey said, "when you're stopping at gas stations and rest stops, you need to be wearing a mask in these places. They are going to be very crowded with fellow travelers, and a lot of those fellow travelers are going to have COVID."
The CDC is also expanding eligibility this week for children ages 5 to 11 to get the Pfizer booster shot five months after the second dose. The Texas Children's Hospital has been scheduling appointments and reportedly already started administering boosters to children this weekend.
"Children are less likely to get severe COVID, but that does not mean they are immune," Dr. Yancey said. "We have seen very severe cases among children, so you're really rolling the dice with an unvaccinated child. So it is very much recommended that you get your children vaccinated and that you get your children boosted, especially right now because cases in the Houston area are ticking up."
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