The American Automobile Association (AAA) has said that for the first time in two decades, it won’t be issuing a Memorial Day travel forecast due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the accuracy of the economic data being compromised by the virus outbreak, the auto club said that the forecast that estimates the number of people traveling during the holiday weekend will return next year.
Reports indicate that fewer people will be on the road when compared to previous years, AAA said, adding that last year some 43 million Americans traveled during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, which was the second highest travel volume recorded since the organization began tracking travel volume in 2000.
The auto club reported that with all of the concerns over the pandemic, this year’s holiday weekend travel could set a record low, a record currently held by Memorial Day 2009, which came near the end of the Great Recession.
Motorists that do plan to travel by highway will be greeted by higher gasoline prices than were evident a month ago, even though prices are almost a dollar lower per gallon than last year.
Gas prices at all of the Hillsboro stations Friday afternoon were at $1.99.
The award for the lowest gas price in the state went to a Shell station in Port Clinton near Lake Erie, which had gas for $1.49 a gallon.
The website said the lowest gas prices in the surrounding cities Friday were at:
• West Union: $1.89 at the Marathon stations on SR 41 south.
• Georgetown: $1.99 was the benchmark price at all of the stations in the county seat of Brown County.
• Chillicothe: The Sunoco on Western Avenue at Stonebridge Drive was at $1.83, followed by Sam’s Club on North Bridge Street near Foxtrail at $1.84, and Exxon on SR 104 near Infirmary Drive showed a price of $1.87.
• Washington C.H.: Like Hillsboro and Georgetown, GasBuddy.com showed $1.99 was the going price citywide for a gallon of gas.
• Wilmington: Gas was $1.79 at both the Quickstop on West Truesdell Street near Bernice Street and the Shop ‘n Go on West Locust Street. All other stations in Wilmington ranged from $1.95 to $1.99 a gallon.
During Thursday’s Facebook Live weekly update, Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner said that Gov. DeWine recently eased up on out of state travel restrictions for Ohio residents. DeWine said that a person traveling out of state and returning to Ohio was no longer required to quarantine for 14 days, and that persons who had tested positive for COVID-19 would be barred from entry unless seeking treatment in the Buckeye State.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ohio Department of Health continued to recommend that Americans stay home and avoid nonessential travel over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.