3 Passengers Test Positive For COVID-19 After Delta Flight

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Yesterday, the Rensselaer County Health Department confirmed that three passengers have tested positive for COVID-19 after a domestic flight with Delta Air Lines. The passengers were screened after presenting symptoms, and an advisory has gone out to other passengers on the plane.

Delta Air Lines in flight
Three people have tested positive for COVID-19 following a Delta subsidiary flight. Photo: Getty Images

Three test positive for COVID-19

Three passengers on board a Delta Air Lines subsidiary flight have tested positive for COVID-19 after presenting symptoms. The travelers flew on Monday, July 6th, when the transmission of the virus is thought to have occurred.

Flight number DL4815, operated by Endeavor, left Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, at 18:50 EDT (23:50 UTC). It landed at 20:52 EDT (01:52 +1 UTC) the same day at Albany International Airport in Albany, New York, with a flight time of two hours and two minutes.

According to reports from CNN, the passengers had not appeared to be COVID-19 positive when boarding the plane. However, the following day, they began to present symptoms. A spokesperson for the airline told CNN that it is currently “following the guidance of local healthcare officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” to mitigate further infections.

Delta Boeing 777
Delta is now following advice from the CDC and advised any fellow passengers to get tested. Photo: Getty Images

On the back of the testing, which was confirmed on July 10th, Rensselaer County has urged any passengers on the flight to get in contact with their county health department.

How does Delta keep passengers safe?

Delta has reiterated that passenger and employee safety is paramount at all times but especially during the coronavirus outbreak. Unfortunately, news like this does little for passenger confidence. That said, Delta has a string of precautions it takes to ensure safety onboard its flights.

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Firstly, the airline requires that all passengers and employees wear masks onboard flights and before boarding. Delta Air Lines also has a rigorous cleaning standard under the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance. It’s sanitizing cabin surfaces including doors, windows, seats and tray tables as well as surfaces at check-in and the gates.

Delta staff member cleans aircraft
Delta Air Lines has a duty of care to passengers and staff. Photo: Delta Air Lines

The airline has also branched out to offer hand sanitizing at frequent points at ticket counters and boarding gates. It will provide long-haul passengers with an amenity kit that comes with personal hand sanitizers.

Keeping safe from coronavirus

Delta Air Lines takes every precaution to curb the spread of the coronavirus. This instance seems like an unfortunate anomaly, and, with any hope, Delta will likely tighten its cleaning procedures. But, just what are the chances of catching coronavirus on a plane?

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Plane with people wearing masks
How likely is catching coronavirus on your flight? Photo: Getty Images

Well, when taking the right precautions, catching COVID-19 is relatively low. Preventative measures like wearing masks and sanitizing hands as well as reactive measures from airlines like cleaning after every flight mitigate the risk. What’s more, HEPA air filters can clear the air of harmful airborne bacteria and viruses, including coronavirus.

The best advice is to ensure you are following the correct safety guidelines to keep yourself and your family safe. Airlines are doing their part and, if you want to check exactly what that means, you can read regulations on your carrier’s website.

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