2:33 PM PST, December 20, 2021
Holiday travelers should expect very long airport lines, especially for international flights, authorities are warning.
At John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, would-be overseas travelers became stranded because the wait for COVID-19 testing was four hours long. And without proof of a negative test, passengers are not allowed to board.
To circumvent the long lines, authorities have encouraged international travelers to get tested before arriving at airports, but that too presents problems as spikes in coronavirus cases caused by the omicron variant has overwhelmed testing sites.
Lines have wrapped around city blocks as concerned residents rush to get tested before holiday gatherings begin this week.
Emergency rooms across the country are also seeing a dramatic rise in coronavirus cases.
In Ohio, the governor has deployed the National Guard, some of whom are trained medical staff, to help hospitals with treatment and transport.
One piece of good news in the holiday chaos is many of the reported cases of omicron appear to be mild, according to some hospital physicians.