Labor Day weekend travelers split on COVID-19 testing upon return home

Not all of the Labor Day travelers we talked to said they felt the need to get a COVID-19 test upon their return.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- This year 3.5 million people were screened at U.S. airports Friday and Saturday of Labor Day weekend, roughly matching 2019 levels.

Even more people extended their weekend an extra day.

Ahead of the holiday weekend, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky advised unvaccinated people against traveling as the U.S. battles back a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations caused by the highly contagious delta variant.

"Given where we are with disease transmission right now, we would say that people need to take their own these risks into their own consideration as they think about traveling," Walensky said during a White House COVID briefing the Tuesday prior to Labor Day.

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Masks are now required in all Pennsylvania public and private schools, as well as child care facilities.

She noted that people who are fully vaccinated and wear masks can travel.

"If you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling," she said.

Inside Philadelphia's 30th Street Station on Tuesday, plenty of holiday travelers were coming and going. Not all felt they needed to get a test upon return.

"I think it's good to get tested. I go to school in Boston, so when I get back I can get tested for free and it's easy," said South Philadelphia resident Jack Gontowski, adding he felt testing was easily accessible in Philadelphia, too.

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"We are drowning in people who are dying with this illness, and I have yet to admit a single person because of a vaccine-related incident."

"No, I think the unvaccinated should be concerned. The vaccinated - I think we're good," said Tsehaye Scott who is traveling back and forth to California.

According to the 6abc Data Team, in the month of August, the growth for searches for testing outpaced the growth in testing in early August. In Philadelphia, a little over 30 percent of people who sought a test could not get one.

On Tuesday, the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium not only had free vaccines but free testing too at Deliverance Evangelistic Church in North Philadelphia. Some were seeking a test as a requirement for work since they went out of town over the long weekend.
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