BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new study shows nearly 90% of Marylanders surveyed do not plan to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.

AAA’s survey said half of those staying home said it is because of coronavirus concerns, while the other half were not planning to travel anyway.

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Of those who still plan to travel for the holiday this year, 79% will drive, 14% plan to fly and 7% plan to travel by some “other” mode of transportation, including taking a bus or train.

WJZ talked to some people in Hampden, who said they’re not taking any chances this year.

“I’m just staying home and not messing around with this stuff,” said Hampden resident James Tolsen.

“Immediate family only. Grandparents will not be coming,” said Hiejung Yoon, of Roland Park.

“Remain at home and remotely connect with family,” said Charles Village resident Ehsan Azimi.

90% of Maryland residents surveyed said they think traveling at this time poses a risk for the virus, with 43% calling that risk “significant.”

“I don’t want to die, I’m 58-years-old, I’ll be 58 in April, I can’t take any chances,” Tolsen said.

“People are feeling weird about being in a big crowd, so just avoid it,” said Ramsey Brisueno, northwest Baltimore resident.

Doctors said the risks of getting COVID-19 go up if you spend time with your loved ones that live outside your immediate home.

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“The more we continue to gather it puts you at higher risk for catching this horrible disease,” said Dr. Kinjal Sheth, Northwest Hospital Chief of Critical Care.


Many said they will plan to connect virtually instead.

“We’ll probably Zoom with the grandparents,” Yoon said.

“Oh yeah, we’ll probably do a Zoom,” Brisueno said.

“So FaceTime, Skype, other things,” Azimi said.

A different celebration for many trying to stay safe and avoid getting a dangerous disease.

“We don’t want it to be remembered as when a lot of people got together and unfortunately then got horribly sick,” Dr. Sheth said.

If you do plan to travel, the CDC advises you check travel restrictions for wherever you’re going, get your flu shot and keep your mask on in public and when around people you don’t live with.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Stetson Miller