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Virus Alerts from Airline Travel


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I would love to see some followup on the various alerts. This one is recent enough that the passengers could be identified, checked and results published.  Probably too much to hope for though.  

N.S. warns of potential COVID-19 exposure on recent Calgary-Halifax flight

By Staff The Canadian Press
Posted August 30, 2020 3:32 pm
A Westjet Boeing 737-700 plane.

A Westjet Boeing 737-700 plane. .THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Passengers on a recent flight from Calgary to Halifax may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The province says the potential exposure occurred on WestJet flight WS-232 on Aug. 24, which landed in Halifax at 5:14 p.m. that day.

Authorities say passengers in rows 20 through 24, seats A, B, C and D, are more likely to have been exposed to COVID-19.

They say those passengers should call 811 for advice and that all passengers on the flight should self-monitor for any symptoms.

Meanwhile, Nova Scotia reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.

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Nearly 1,000 flights in Canada have carried COVID-positive passengers since February

Published Thursday, September 3, 2020 10:13PM EDT

CTV National News: Tracking COVID-19 flightsNOW PLAYING

Canada has reported nearly 1,000 known flights where passengers may have been exposed to COVID-19. Annie Bergeron-Oliver has the details.
Canada's top doctors on why international travellers are allowed on domestic flights before quarantining.
Pearson Airport is getting ready for the post-shutdown future with the help of robots and new restrictions to keep passengers safe.
Despite international travel restrictions, thousands of people have still made their way into Canada. Glen McGregor takes a closer look.
The Canada-U.S. border may be closed to non-essential travel but that hasn’t stopped thousands of passengers from coming to Canada.
Those who fail to comply with Canadian quarantine rules can face up to $750,000 in fines and up to six months in prison.
New powers have given the RCMP authority to ensure that anyone who has travelled recently isolates for 14 days. Molly Thomas explains.
The federal government hopes the threat of a $1 million fine and years in jail get people to stop ignoring physical distancing rules.Next


OTTAWA -- Nearly 1,000 flights in Canada have carried at least one COVID-positive passenger since February, according to figures CTV News obtained from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

More than 370 domestic flights clocked at least one passenger who tested positive for COVID-19, according to the figures, and just shy of 600 international flights found the same. In total, between Feb. 4 and August 24 this year, 973 flights flew into or within Canada with carriers of the illness on board.

The last flight known to carry a COVID-19 case on board -- which fell outside the range of data PHAC provided -- landed in Toronto on Sunday, carrying passengers travelling from Edmonton.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the government is taking a “very serious and layered approach” to minimize the risk of passengers bringing COVID-19 into Canada.

“Those measures include, when somebody is travelling from abroad…screening questions, temperature measurements, the fact that they must wear masks,” Garneau said.

“All of those are measures that are designed to minimize the possibility of bringing anybody who’s infected into the country and then transmitting it while they’re on the aircraft.”

However, some of the measures — namely the 14-day quarantine period — have proven difficult for the air travel industry to reckon with as they continue to haemorrhage profits. As a result, the industry is trying to come up with creative solutions.

The latest effort is a pilot project, conducted by McMaster HealthLabs, Air Canada, and Greater Toronto Airports Authority. Using voluntary testing, the project intends to figure out how many international travellers arriving in Canada test positive for COVID-19 during the 14-day quarantine period.

“The 14 day quarantine is a significant issue for us for the aviation travel tourism sector. Certainly I think that’s one of the largest impediments right now, for travel,” said Dr. Jim Chung, Air Canada’s chief medical officer, in an interview with CTV News on Thursday.

Chung said the hope is to gather “enough data and evidence to provide to the government so that they can look at alternatives in a safe and evidence based manner…to the 14-day quarantine.”

Dr. Vivek Goel, a co-principal investigator of the study, echoed Chung’s comments on Thursday.

“There’s some modelling work from the U.K. that suggests that Day One and Day Seven testing picks up almost all the cases that you would just otherwise be quarantining for 14 days. So even if we can get the quarantine reduced by a week,” he said, reiterating the study’s goal.

In response to questions about the study, Garneau said the government is “always assessing” ways to return to normal, but only in a “safe and prudent” way.

“We have to make sure that those processes are going to be safe, that the testing itself has a high reliability and those kinds of things, but it is worth looking at these things as part of our desire to return to normal, but in a safe way,” Garneau said.

Still, despite the precautions and a 14-day mandatory quarantine period, not everyone is playing by the rules -- and some have paid the price for it.

“As of September 1, 2020, the RCMP has issued 20 fines totalling just over $18,000 to individuals under the Quarantine Act,” said Cpl. Caroline Duval, a spokesperson for the RCMP, in a statement emailed to CTV News.

In addition to that, two people have been charged under the Quarantine Act.

“In separate occurrences, both subjects entered Canada and did not quarantine themselves in accordance with instructions provided by officials upon entry into Canada and did not remain in quarantine until the expiry of the 14-day period,” Duval said.

In contrast to the rule breakers, however, others are playing by the rules — and finding themselves falling between the cracks of the system.

Richard Kramer was observing his 14-day quarantine period when his phone rang. He didn’t recognize the number and ignored the call, but upon listening to the voicemail learned it was the government checking in to ensure he was following the quarantine rules. The voicemail said they would call back in 24 hours — but when that call came, an automated voice claimed to have tried to contact him multiple times and accused him of violating the rules.

This, despite the fact that he says he had only received one call and was observing all proper quarantine precautions.

“I was, understandably, not too happy with this,” Kramer told CTV National News in an interview.

While he was able to clear up the confusion after a series of phone calls, Kramer remains concerned that others might not be able to do the same.

“I am concerned that for most people that wouldn’t be that tenacious, simply because they don’t know how to access the various webs of the system in order to get to a live human being in the federal government. Most people would leave it,” Kramer said.

“We didn’t have police come to us because we were able to resolve it, but only as a result of my various steps and my efforts.”

With files from CTV National News reporter Annie Bergeron-Oliver

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2 hours ago, Fido said:

So what?

Testing positive is not a death sentence.


2 hours ago, Fido said:

So what?

Testing positive is not a death sentence.

it is just a place mark even for those of us over 70

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3 hours ago, Fido said:

So what?

Testing positive is not a death sentence.

Fido...I don't understand your comment. A person who tests positive for the virus may recover without resulting sequelae or may in fact have no symptoms. 

However, the persons with whom that infected individual comes into contact may not be so fortunate.

What is imperative is to identify infected individuals and then protect others from potential spread. If one assumes that everyone is a potential carrier then you can initiate defensive manoevres that will give you an increased probability of avoiding infection.

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26 minutes ago, Amelia said:

What about people they are staying with. Do they fall under this law or just the traveller?

Which post are you asking about?  This forum adds your question after the previous last post, so unless you quote from the one you are curious about, there is little hope that your question and it can be linked. 


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On 9/5/2020 at 4:25 PM, Marshall said:

Which post are you asking about?  This forum adds your question after the previous last post, so unless you quote from the one you are curious about, there is little hope that your question and it can be linked. 


Just wrote a long reply and poof. Very frustrating. I am referring to this long post about isolation. Need to plan. Will school kids be in quarantine if their father comes home from being overseas? 

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1 hour ago, Amelia said:

Just wrote a long reply and poof. Very frustrating. I am referring to this long post about isolation. Need to plan. Will school kids be in quarantine if their father comes home from being overseas? 

Sadly, it all depends upon where you live and what rules have been established for there.  There is little commonalty  around the world, even within the same country or region.  I can only suggest that you check with your local health authority or if he is in the Military, I imagine there is a support group that you can ask. There are others on this forum that probably can provide a better answer but if it involves a member of the Canadian Forces, these folks may be able to help. https://www.cafconnection.ca/National/Programs-Services/Deployment-Support/Deployment-Support-for-Families/Military-Family-Resource-Centres-(MFRC).aspx

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Potential COVID-19 exposure on Sept. 7 Calgary-Halifax flight

By Karla Renic Global News
Posted September 11, 2020 2:43 pm
A WestJet flight from Calgary to Halifax has been flagged as a potential COVID-19 exposure zone. Jonathan Hayward, The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia health officials are advising of a potential exposure to the coronavirus on WestJet flight WS232 that left Calgary for Halifax on Sep. 7 at 9:30 a.m.

The flight arrived in Halifax at 5:14 p.m.

A news release says passengers in rows four to 10 and seats D, E and F, are most likely to have had close contact.

The province says individuals in these seats are advised to contact 811 for advice.

According to the release, anyone on this flight may develop symptoms up to 14 days after the potential exposure.


Those on the flight but not in the identified rows should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, health officials say.

N.S. rotational workers frustrated with mandatory isolation rule

The province urges anyone currently experiencing a fever or cough to visit the 811 website to see if an assessment is needed.

In addition, if an individual is experiencing two or more of the following symptoms, they are asked to visit the 811 website to see if an assessment is needed:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Cor
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The problem with the ongoing airline virus alerts is that I have yet to find any follow up reports as to whether or not any passenger became infected from the exposure.  However it appears this may change and I look forward to seeing data from the followups.

Coronavirus: Canada’s airlines agree to new rules to help with contact tracing

By Staff The Canadian Press
Posted September 11, 2020 2:11 pm

OTTAWA — Transport Minister Marc Garneau says Canada’s largest airlines agreed to a new set of rules to help contact-tracing efforts should a passenger test positive for COVID-19.

Passengers will be asked to provide their contact information, such as an email or phone number, at check-in so local public health officials can get in touch if needed.

The agreement also outlines how air carriers need to hand over information quickly so the Public Health Agency of Canada can then post those details to its website.

The deal seeks to address concerns that information was incomplete, or too slow to arrive, to check whether the virus was transmitted between flight passengers.

3:58Concerns raised over the removal of physical distancing measures on airplanes

Concerns raised over the removal of physical distancing measures on airplanes

The stumbling blocks during discussions this summer included whether phone numbers or email addresses were enough, or if details such as residential addresses should also be passed along.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Seems that it is indeed possible to be infected by another passenger on a flight.


We conclude that the risk for on-board transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during long flights is real and has the potential to cause COVID-19 clusters of substantial size, even in business class–like settings with spacious seating arrangements well beyond the established distance used to define close contact on airplanes. As long as COVID-19 presents a global pandemic threat in the absence of a good point-of-care test, better on-board infection prevention measures and arrival screening procedures are needed to make flying safe.

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/11/20-3299_article?ACSTrackingID=USCDC_333-DM38470&ACSTrackingLabel=Latest Expedited Articles - Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal - September 18%2C 2020&deliveryName=USCDC_333-DM38470



Coronavirus: How one passenger infected 15 others on a long-haul flight


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1 hour ago, GTFA said:

That event occurred in March. Measures to detect and avoid the spread have been significantly improved since then.

Let us hope so.   I guess the only want to make more certain would be to set up a test 7 or 8 hour flight with infected and non infected passengers and crew, then isolate all of them for 14 days and then quantify the results.   

Since that is not likely then I guess the following may be the path we go down.


Airlines call for COVID-19 tests before all international flights

From Financial Post – link to story

Reuters, Laurence Frost  •  Sep 22, 2020

PARIS — Global airlines called on Tuesday for airport COVID-19 tests for all departing international passengers to replace the quarantines they blame for exacerbating the travel slump.

Rapid and affordable antigen tests that can be administered by non-medical staff are expected to become available in “coming weeks” and should be rolled out under globally agreed standards, the head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said during an online media briefing.

“We don’t see any alternative solution that would be less challenging or more effective,” IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said.

Airlines hammered by the pandemic are pressing governments to embrace alternatives to blanket travel restrictions that are still hampering a traffic recovery – and now tightening again in Europe amid resurgent case numbers.

With rapid antigen tests becoming available for as little as $7 each, De Juniac said, airlines will push for their use to be endorsed by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the U.N. agency that oversees global aviation rules.

IATA believes production could be quickly increased to millions per day and the tests phased in between late October and the end of the year, “helping to save a part of the winter season,” De Juniac told Reuters television.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Air Force One: Trump team's infections raise questions about Covid-19 aboard 'the flying White House'
 By Pete Muntean, CNN 7 hrs ago

The positive coronavirus test for a high-profile Air Force One passenger raises the possibility that has concerned aviation experts for months: that the virus can easily spread inside a confined aircraft cabin.

a large passenger jet sitting on top of a runway: DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 16: Air Force One is seen for  U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)© Chris Graythen/Getty Images DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 16: Air Force One is seen for U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Experts fear the infection potentially puts at risk hundreds of people who travel on, operate and maintain "the flying White House" -- threatening not only a highly recognizable icon of America, but also the smooth operation of a key national security tool used to evacuate the president in a crisis.

Administration officials said Friday that presidential senior adviser Hope Hicks was showing coronavirus symptoms while she flew on the world's most famous jet earlier this week, raising the concern her infection could be linked to the infections of President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump.

Experts have cautioned that during the pandemic, the unique air flow dynamics in the confined cabin of a jetliner -- even one as large as the Boeing 747-200, known in the military as a VC-25 -- could put unmasked passengers at a risk of catching the deadly virus.

Administration officials said Friday that Hicks began displaying symptoms on the flight back from the President's Wednesday rally in Minnesota and was isolated in a separate cabin. She was seen deplaning Air Force One from a rear set of steps not typically used by the President.

"Social distancing is much easier on Air Force One than any commercial airliner," said Professor Yan Chen of Purdue University, a researcher who studies the airborne spread of coronavirus inside an airliner. Chen said most passengers do not sit in cramped rows on board the multi-room, highly modified jet, "but complete isolation is very difficult."

Chen said the air onboard large jets, including commercial airliners and Air Force One, is typically filtered through High Efficiency Particulate Air, or HEPA, filters, which are designed to catch most particles. The result is the air even on large planes is completely replaced every few minutes.

Air Force One also carries a special onboard oxygen system, although its capabilities aren't clear.

Commercial airlines insist air filters make flying in a plane safer than sitting in a shared room in a building. But it does not eliminate the risk of contracting the virus when a contagious passenger is onboard.

"If you have a patient inside of an airplane, then the droplets breathed out by this patient could be transported in the airplane," he said.

The White House said the 747 typically used as Air Force One (the term can refer to any aircraft carrying the President) features "4,000 square feet of floor space on three levels, including an extensive suite for the President that features a large office, lavatory, and conference room." CNN journalists who have flown on the aircraft say the President's quarters is near the nose of the jumbo jet with a conference room over the wings. It is not clear where Hicks was sequestered on board.

The plane requires hundreds of personnel to operate, stock, and maintain -- and the highly contagious nature of the virus means an onboard infection could impact more than just the high-profile passengers.

"Each of them is necessary to support a president and ensure his safety and security, so any vulnerabilities, or any illnesses in that system are going to have an impact," said Juliette Kayyem, a CNN national security analyst and former Department of Homeland Security official.

Air Force One, for example, was used to protect President George W. Bush on September 11, 2001, as national security officials grappled with understanding the threat to the country. Bush, who was in Florida when the attack began, was eventually hustled onboard the jet and spent much of the day in the air, before returning to Washington that evening.

The current situation likely means officials in the military and at other agencies are "going to have to go to their redundancies and backup systems," she said, such as having another set of pilots at the ready.

"The President has required us to think through this worst case scenario planning because of his own negligence about Covid," Kayyem said.

"It is more troubling than it might initially seem," said Kenneth Walsh, who flew on Air Force One more than 200 times in his decades as a reporter for US News and World Report and author of the 2004 book "Air Force One: A History of the Presidents and Their Planes."

Walsh stressed that Hicks was seen not wearing a mask on the President's plane and "there would have been plenty of opportunities for her to be in contact" with others who wouldn't have been wearing one.

"If I were in an airplane -- even if it's Air Force One -- I would wear a mask," said Purdue's Chen.

Walsh underscored that Air Force One stewards -- United States Air Force personnel who take great pride in their work -- would have no doubt been checking on Hicks, potentially exposing them to the virus.

The Air Force's 89th Airlift Wing operates Air Force One, as well as other aircraft used to transport VIPs from Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, DC, in Maryland. It said in a statement that it follows US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines in the event of Covid-19 exposure.

"The 89th Airlift Wing has established safety procedures for day-to-day operations incorporating Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) public health guidance and frequent COVID-19 testing of the Air Force One flight crew members. In the event any Air Force One personnel are exposed, become symptomatic, or test positive, the 89th Airlift Wing would follow the guidelines established by the CDC," the statement said.

Walsh noted that "it's very rare for anything negative to be associated with Air Force One."

"Air Force One is a very special place, it's become a symbol of the presidency," he said.


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3 hours ago, anonymous said:

What a stupid article....why do they assume that the exposure happened on Air Force 1?? The fact that Hope Hicks was constantly in the presence of POTUS everyday and didn't wear a mask....it could have been transmitted anywhere.

Why are they assuming she’s responsible for transmitting it to him? Given the timeline of all the people in POTUS’s circle being tested positive, it’s more likely to have been spread at the gathering to introduce Judge Barrett as the nominee for the Supreme Court.

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The question that occurred to me as I watched the news segments regarding the Barrett nomination was why some attendees thereafter tested positive while many others in very close proximity did not.

Mark Meadows and the AG must have very strong immune systems!!

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16 hours ago, anonymous said:

What a stupid article....why do they assume that the exposure happened on Air Force 1?

A wise instructor once told me when something goes wrong, always consider the source. In this case it's CNN. If it's possible to put a negative slant on something Trump related,, they are always at the front of the line.  Always.

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