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Denver International Airport is expecting Thanksgiving to bring its busiest travel days since the COVID-19 pandemic first reached Colorado in March, officials said Wednesday.

DIA said the Sundays before and after Thanksgiving are projected to bring 46,000 and 50,000 travelers to the airport, the most traffic it has seen since mid-March.

In Colorado, 1 in 110 people are currently infected with the coronavirus, according to Gov. Jared Polis.

Polis has repeatedly pleaded for Coloradans to stay home this Thanksgiving, only celebrating within their household.

At a recent news conference, Polis likened visiting family for the holidays without quarantining for two weeks prior to holding "a loaded pistol to grandma's head."

So far, more than 2,000 Coloradans have died from COVID-19. Cases reached 172,044 and the state positivity rate hit 12.24% on Wednesday, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

“We hope to make the travel season run as smooth as possible,” DIA officials said in a statement, pointing out that expected travel is still low compared to normal years.

DIA said this is a peak for pandemic travel, it expects Thanksgiving traffic to be down 36% from last year, akin to the traffic of an average snowstorm cancellation day in 2019.

To prepare for increased travel over Thanksgiving, DIA released travel safety guidelines Wednesday.

DIA requires face masks in all public spaces and on flights for major domestic airlines.

It also provides more than 100 hand sanitizer stations, plexiglass between employees and signage encouraging 6-foot distancing between travelers.

Security checkpoint lines at DIA have been made wider to allow for social distancing and shuttle capacities have been cut to only eight passengers at a time.

DIA has also launched two new services to help make traveling safer.

The Eats Delivered app is a 12-month pilot program that allows travelers to get food delivered to their gates from various airport restaurants, providing touchless ordering, payment and delivery.

The VeriFLY app allows travelers to make reservations for a TSA screening lane and limited-capacity train car that connects concourses.

Participants must get a health screening 24 hours before travel and temperature check before security.


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