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Sea-Tac Airport could see record number of travelers since start of pandemic

TSA says more than a million people have passed through a checkpoint five of the last nine days.

SEATAC, Wash. — The Port of Seattle said the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is expecting 60,000 passengers to pass through both Sunday and Monday. 

The numbers are some of the highest the airport has seen since the start of the pandemic, but the port said that despite the uptick, traffic is still down 60%.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said workers screened 1.1 million people at checkpoints on Saturday and said Sunday would be another busy day as people fly after Christmas. Christmas travel was slower. TSA screened 616,469 people, down from 2.6 million in 2019. 

Five of the past nine days TSA has screened more than a million travelers. The numbers are a sign people are not listening to health officials and staying home. 

Doctors warn holiday gatherings could create a further spike in coronavirus cases and increased stress on the nation's healthcare system. The latest projections from The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation predict cases will peak in Washington in late January. The IHME also predicts the state could run out of ICU beds by Jan. 7, 2021.  

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