ORLANDO, Fla. – New Year's Eve is expected to be the second busiest day for holiday travel at Orlando International Airport, with more than 153,000 travelers.
This comes as COVID-19 cases continue to shatter records. On Monday, Orange County Health officials reported the highest number of cases in one day since the pandemic began, more than 2,500 cases.
Airport employee Damion Baxter understands the importance of make sure he's protected COVID-19- not just for himself but his family, friends, and everyone at the airport.
“In Jamaica they say do the right thing! So you don’t touch stuff and put your hand in your mouth. You have to pay the bills and if you’re sick, you can’t work and pay the bills so you have to protect yourself," explains Damion.
Which is why he just received his second vaccination.
Damion says these past few weeks at the airport have been incredibly busy.
“Holiday time is always busy and people haven’t traveled for two years and who wouldn’t want to be with their family at this time. I wasn’t surprised at all. I came prepared for it!" exclaims Damion.
But others, like Marcela Boudreau weren’t quite prepared for the crowds. Marcela and her family thought traveling on New Year’s Eve would make it easier. Instead, they found themselves waiting in line for a COVID-19 test ahead of their flight to Brazil.
“We did a PCR test on 8 a.m. on Wednesday and they guaranteed 1-2 day turnaround and we still haven’t gotten the results so we had to come to the airport early," says Marcela.
The airport testing site will be closed Saturday and reopen Sunday. According to the online reservation site, there aren’t any available reservations until Monday. Walk-ins are welcome.