MILWAUKEE - The COVID-19 delta variant and a rising number of hospitalizations are not keeping people from traveling for the Labor Day holiday weekend.
AAA said travel has been strong this summer, especially by car, but the organization stops short of making any projections for the weekend – saying it's too unpredictable.
Savanna King puts her feelings about COVID-19 precautions right on her face.
"I do not take my mask off unless I’m far away from everyone else," King said. "Might as well not be stupid about it and just wear the mask now."
At Milwaukee Intermodal Station, King got ready Friday, Sept. 3 for a trip up north to visit her dad. Then, she's off to a college in Scotland for four years. A positive COVID-19 test now could jeopardize the whole trip.
"I’ve been jumping through all the hoops to get my visa and everything, making sure I can fly on a certain day and whatnot," said King.
Greyhound Bus Station; Milwaukee Intermodal Station
It comes at a time when COVID-19 hospitalizations in Wisconsin could surpass 1,000 at any moment – and during a busy holiday travel weekend.
"I think the safest thing is to not travel. Having said that, there will of course be people who already have plans," said Dr. Nasia Safdar, UW Health's medical director of control.
Safdar said handwashing, social distancing and mask wearing pertain to both the vaccinated and unvaccinated as travelers hop aboard trains, buses and planes.
"When you have an effective tool at your disposal and not taking full advantage of it, you can’t expect it to work as effectively if everyone was using it," Safdar said.
Milwaukee Intermodal Station
As Diana Johnson got ready to leave for Chicago on Friday, she too clung to her mask.
"Now that it’s flaring up again, I think people should be more cautious. This is not a joke, OK?" said Johnson. "This is not a joke."
AAA expects traffic to be at its peak early Friday evening with another rush of people heading home Tuesday.