By Kennedi Walker

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Holiday travel has picked up and health experts say so has COVID-19. As cases continue to rise, families getting together with loved ones say they have a plan to keep everyone safe.

“There’s more precautions, we are all getting tested just so we can go into it and not really worry about [COVID] and just have fun,” Erin Cooper said.

READ MORE: Parker County Sheriff's Search For Thieves Who Rigged Pumps, Stole Thousands Of Gallons Of Gas

Nearly nine million Texans will be hitting the roads, the sky, or other forms of transportation this holiday season – 32% more than last year.

Christian Grisales, from Dallas County Health and Human Services, says because of this, cases will continue to soar.

“We continue to report positive cases of COVID here in Dallas County, hospitalizations are going up, and people continue to die,” Grisales said.

READ MORE: Unseasonably Warm Before DFW Temperatures Drop Below Freezing, Bring Chance For Wintry Mix

It’s a trend we saw right after Thanksgiving, which was the busiest travel rush since the pandemic began.

According to new data released by UT Southwestern Medical Center, in Tarrant County, roughly 570 new COVID-19 infections per day are expected by January 3. In Dallas County, that number is expected to be closer to 650.

Some families say they aren’t too concerned with the growing number of cases.

“We think about it and talk about it, but really we’re just moving forward with life day-by-day,” Claudia Sheddy said. “[We are] taking general precautions, but ready to live life and enjoy the holidays.”

MORE NEWS: Students In Keller ISD Among Those Returning To Campus After COVID-19 Closure

If gathering with family is a must, Grisales’ message on traveling is clear. He urges everyone to get tested, vaccinated and get the booster shot.

Kennedi Walker