If you need to travel on an airplane
by Don Gardner, Clearwater County Office of Emergency Management
What is the risk of getting COVID-19 on an airplane?
Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily. Although the risk of infection on an airplane is low, try to avoid contact with sick passengers and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
What if there is a sick passenger on the flight?
Under current federal regulations, pilots must report all illnesses and deaths to CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) before arriving to a US destination. According to CDC disease protocols, if a sick traveler is considered to be a public health risk, CDC works with local and state health departments and international public health agencies to contact passengers and crew exposed to that sick traveler.
Be sure to give the airline your current contact information when booking your ticket so you can be notified if you are exposed to a sick traveler on a flight.
Should travelers wear facemasks?
Personal air space
By opening your air vent, you will help keep filtered air flowing in your personal space throughout the flight. Airplane ventilation and air quality
All commercial jet aircraft built after the late 1980s, and a few modified older aircraft, recirculate 10-50 percent of the air in the cabin, mixed with outside air. The recirculated air passes through a series of filters 20-30 times per hour. In most newer-model airplanes, the recycled air passes through high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which capture 99.9 percent of particles (bacteria, fungi, and larger viruses or virus clumps) 0.1-0.3 µm in diameter. Furthermore, air generally circulates in defined areas within the aircraft, thus limiting the radius of distribution of pathogens spread by small-particle aerosols. As a result, the cabin air environment is not conducive to the spread of most infectious diseases.
Some diseases may be spread by contact with infected secretions, such as when an ill person sneezes or coughs (and the secretions or droplets land on another person's face, mouth, nose, or eyes), or touches a communal surface (such as a door knob or rest room faucet) with contaminated hands. Other people handling those contaminated surfaces may then be inoculated with the contaminant. Practicing good handwashing and respiratory hygiene (covering mouth when coughing or sneezing) decreases the risk of disease spread by direct or indirect contact
While on a layover in the United States or at your travel destination
When you arrive home:
|Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Phone: (208) 476-0733
Fax: (208) 476-4140