McCarran working with SNHD, CDC after learning coronavirus patient traveled


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Southern Nevada Health District confirmed that the man who became our state’s first presumptive coronavirus patient traveled from Washington and Texas to Las Vegas. They do not have a timeline of when that happened.

McCarran International Airport officials said they are working closely with the Health District and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor the virus in our area. Right now, the airport does not have any information on the details of the patient’s travels into Las Vegas.

Despite the case, the airport has not been advised that it needs to do any coronavirus screening. McCarran issued a statement today that said the custodial staff is using hospital-grade disinfectant on all high-touch surfaces. These include things like kiosks, escalators and door handles.

While the airport does this during every flu season, it has increased how often it disinfects because of the virus.

8 News Now spoke with passengers who said they saw some people wiping down seats on their flight and wearing face masks. We asked them whether they were concerned, and their reactions were mixed.

“I know we’re in the age group that’s more at risk than other age groups, but we just wash, wash, wash and do the things that we’re told,” said passenger Cheryl Hull.

Ariel Cross noted, “Now I’m going to play with my gloves on when I go to the casino and wear my mask 24/7.”

McCarran said the disinfectant it’s using is recommended by the CDC to combat coronavirus. It’s been applied in the highest concentration to have maximum impact.

The airport is advising all travelers to wash their hands often and avoid touching their faces.

Now the virus isn’t just affecting airports. The airline industry is taking a hard hit as more cases pop up around the world.

Airlines are experiencing financial losses as they suspend flights abroad and cut back on domestic schedules. Here in Las Vegas, Korean Air suspended flights to the city amid concerns about the spread of the virus.

The International Air Transport Association said the industry could lose between $63 and $113 billion worldwide this year.

JetBlue, one of the airlines that serves McCarran, issued a statement to 8 News Now regarding the steps it’s taking to address coronavirus:

We are taking a number of actions given the impact of coronavirus on travel demand. We are making an initial capacity reduction of approximately 5% in the near term to address the fall in demand. We are closely monitoring booking trends to assess whether additional capacity reductions will be required. Our plan ensures that, in nearly all cases, customers can be moved to other flights that will get them to their destination on the same day. In addition to the capacity adjustment, we are taking additional measures aimed at preserving cash, including reducing hiring for both frontline and support center positions, considering voluntary time off programs as appropriate and limiting non-essential spending.


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