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Passenger with COVID-19 flew from Chicago to Honolulu, possibly spreading it to others

A passenger traveled from Chicago to Hawaii while infected with the novel coronavirus.

File - A United Airlines Express jet takes off from Pittsburgh International Airport, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.
A United Airlines Express jet takes off from Pittsburgh International Airport, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.
Gene J. Puskar, Associated Press

The Hawaii Department of Health told Hawaii News Now that a passenger aboard a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Honolulu had the novel coronavirus while flying.

  • The patient, who was infected with COVID-19, might have spread the virus to other passengers on the plane.

Per SFGate, the passenger started the trip with a “pending” test result.

  • Passengers were en route to Hawaii, which checks passengers’ tests results when they get off the plane. The state does not require people to show a negative test result before they arrive there.

This means “you can get a test before flying, not know your results when you board and test positive upon arrival,” according to SF Gate.

In this specific case, the passenger might have learned about their test result during the actual flight. The passenger told the flight crew and was sent into isolation upon arrival.

  • Passengers near the infected passenger were told to go into isolation.

United Airlines plans to add a free COVID-19 testing trial to some flights in the near future, which I wrote about for the Deseret News. It will be on flights from Newark, New Jersey, to London’s Heathrow Airport.

  • United Airlines will pay the cost for the rapid molecular Abbott ID Now tests.
  • United said in a release that it wants to make sure “everyone on board other than children under 2 will have tested negative before departure.”