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2 passengers who flew out of Phoenix to Toronto test positive for coronavirus, city officials say

Posted at 2:37 PM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 21:28:07-04

PHOENIX — Sky Harbor Airport is taking extra precautions after it was discovered that two Canadian passengers who flew out of Phoenix to Toronto last month have tested positive for coronavirus.

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The passengers traveled on a WestJet flight on February 28, officials said.

According to a City of Phoenix spokesperson, "WestJet is working with health officials to contact all passengers, crew members, and Sky Harbor management to be proactive with this latest information."

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Officials went on to say anyone at risk of exposure by the passengers will be contacted.

WestJet said they were advised on March 5 by the Public Health Agency of Canada that the two guests had tested positive for coronavirus.

In a statement on Monday, WestJet said guests who were seated in rows 18-22 of flight 1199 from Phoenix to Toronto on February 28 are directed to self-isolate and call health officials.

Maricopa County Department of Public Health officials say anyone with acute respiratory symptoms who traveled on the flight should contact their health provider.

"Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is actively monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments and the city of Phoenix Office of Emergency Management is in close contact with federal, state and county health officials," City of Phoenix spokesman Greg Roybal said Monday. "At this time the CDC has not requested any specific changes to Phoenix Sky Harbor’s standard health and safety protocols related to the virus. Some airports have been designated as primary gateways, with additional health protocols in place because of their high number of nonstop flights to impacted areas. Sky Harbor is not a designated airport at this time."

Sky Harbor is taking further measures to ensure the safety and cleanliness of the airport for travelers:

  • In addition to Sky Harbor’s already thorough 24-hour cleaning schedule, the Airport has proactively increased the number of times per day it sanitizes high-touch areas.
  • If someone falls ill while at the Airport and calls for paramedics, the Phoenix Fire Department will respond appropriately, in partnership with Maricopa County Health.
  • Employees and passengers are being encouraged to use hand sanitizer and wash hands often, for at least 20 seconds.

As of Monday morning, Arizona has had five presumptive positive or confirmed cases of coronavirus.

State health officials say 56 people have been tested, 44 have been ruled out, and seven are still pending.