Transcript for More than 50 million Americans expected to travel despite CDC warning
Good evening and thanks for being us with on this Wednesday night.I'm Tom llamas, in David. And we begin with the Thanksgiving holiday and the coronavirus threat. The nation already in the middle of a devastating covid surge, now facing the biggest test yet. The CDC warning people to stay home and keep holiday celebrations small or face what some fear could be a humanitarian crisis. An even sharper rise in cases some three weeks from now, just in time for Christmas. Hospitalizations at a record high for a 15th day in a row. More than 88,000 patients taxing medical care. And we know when hospitalizations rise, deaths soon follow. More than 2,300 in the past 24 hours. 261,000 lives now lost. And today, take a look, there were long lines at a number of airports. At least 5 million passengers the most since the pandemic began. And also long lines for covid testing, though officials warn it may provide a false sense of security. And now new crackdowns to slow an even greater spread. Los Angeles shutting down restaurants for the next three weeks. Pennsylvania halting alcohol sales at bars and restaurants overnight. And there will be checkpoints at bridges and bus stations right here in New York City to warn out of state travelers to quarantine. Tonight, Dr. Anthony Fauci is making a final plea, saying that a vaccine is on the horizon and this week's sacrifices will save lives in the meantime. ABC's Stephanie Ramos leads us off here in New York. Reporter: Just hours to Thanksgiving and tonight, millions are on the move despite that CDC warning against travel. You just try to kind of be as safe as you can and get home and see family. Reporter: More than 50 million Americans expected to hit the roads and skies. Our gio Benitez is at New York's Laguardia airport. When it comes to the pandemic, this is one of the busiest days at airports. More than a million expected to fly. Another million plus expected Sunday, when people return home. I made sure I tested negative before flying, I wasn't going to fly if I was positive. Then I'm also going to test again when I'm home just to keep everyone safe. Rep and tonight, the stakes couldn't be higher. Deaths now topping 2,300 a day. Given that we have massively uncontrolled outbreaks already, and we have health systems that are on the brink of collapse. You know, this addition of cases is not something that we can sustain. And we are in a humanitarian crisis right now. Reporter: Across the count new crackdowns. L.A. County shutting down dining at restaurants for three weeks. In New York, checkpoints at bridges and bus stations warning out of state travelers of quarantine rules. And Pennsylvania shutting down alcohol sales at bars and restaurants overnight. Dr. Anthony Fauci warning on "Gma" to keep any indoor gatherings small. You let your guard down and obviouve to take a mask off if you're eating or drinking. Try to avoid that as much as possible. The sacrifice now could save lives and illness and make the future much brighter as we get through this because George, we're going to get through this. Reporter: Tonight, hospitals strained with a record 88,000 covid patients. They're stuck inside themselves. They can't talk. They can't stretch their arms, because if we lose the E.T. Tube, the tube that's helping them breathe, they'll die. Reporter: And caring for those patients taking a toll on nurses like Beth Dejong in Utah who can't hold her 4 and 8-year-old kids when she gets home. They don't run to the door anymore, because we don't give hugs when I get home. The first thing I do is I shower. And then I get to spend half an hour with them and I come back and I do it again. Reporter: The families of so many changed forever. Chicago 911 dispatcher Lupe Lopez losing his life to covid. His wife Maria is now fighting for hers on a ventilator. Having to say good-bye through a facetime, because you can't even be in the same room. That hurts me more than anything that I can't even be with my mom right now. I can't be there to comfort her. Reporter: Her son Ricardo with this message. There's going to be more Thanksgivings. There's going to be more holidays. There's going to be more celebrations. There's going to be more birthdays in the future. Don't make this the last one. Our thoughts with the Lopez family tonight. Stephanie joins us tonight. And Steph, here in New York City, there will be those checkpoints at some bridges and crossings to enforce the quarantine rules? Reporter: Exactly, Tom. Authorities will be doing things like spot checks on out of state buses and advising out of town guests about quarantine rules, also letting them know where they can get tested.new York governor Andrew Cuomo has been requiring visitors to test negative for covid before arriving in the state and then ain once here or quarantine for 14 days. Tom? Stephanie Ramos leading us off on this Thanksgiving eve. Stephanie, thank you.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.