Commercial flights on the rise despite the pandemic

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported that its agents screened more than 1.3 million passengers at security checkpoints at airports across the country on Friday.

TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said in a tweet that the last time the number was this high was on March 15, 2020, about a year ago.

Public health authorities have generally warned against traveling on commercial flights.

Farbstein included a reminder in his tweet, noting that “If you choose to fly, wear that mask!”

US President Joe Biden on Thursday marked the first anniversary of the pandemic with a message to the nation saying there are enough vaccines for the entire population of the country by May 1.

In California, COVID-19 hospitalizations have dropped below 1,000 for the first time in four months.

The number of COVID-19 patients in Los Angeles County hospitals stood at 979, the lowest since Nov. 23. There are 3,250 people hospitalized statewide, down more than 85% from the peak of nearly 22,000 in early January.

And in Arizona, health authorities reported 262 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the lowest number in a 24-hour period since September between the summer and winter outbreaks.

The state now registers 823,094 infections and 16,546 deaths, with 27 deaths recently reported. Hospitalizations for the disease are down in Arizona to 814, less than the number on Jan. 11, the highest in the pandemic – at 5,082, according to the statewide coronavirus count.

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