Air travelers respond to COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

With fear of the spread of COVID-19, travel has been impacted worldwide.

On Wednesday, President Trump announced travel restrictions for traveling abroad, however there haven’t been any restrictions for domestic travel within the U.S.

Regardless, some travelers coming through the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport say they have felt the effects of the outbreak.

“I’m more hyper-vigilant than normal,” said Christopher Becker who was traveling from Detroit. “I had some sanitary wipes and wiped my hands after I touched surfaces.”

“In Chicago we noticed quite a few people with masks on,” said Joan Moe, who was traveling through CVRA on Thursday. “I am not touching any types of surface or touching my face and washing my hands frequently.”

“I am a frequent traveler so I am always concerned about germs while traveling so surface disinfectant, not touching m face, hand washing, and being aware of that,” said Amy Kassing of Eau Claire who was traveling to Philadelphia on Thursday.

The airport has taken some precautions to protect travelers including adding hand sanitizing stations and cleaning “high touch” surfaces more frequently.

“The City-County Health Department has done an amazing job keeping us and others in the community informed about what is going on and what the next steps and proper procedures are so we will stay in touch with them and continue to receive updates from them and follow guidelines they are putting forth,” Zich said.

As for how the outbreak could affect the airport in the long run, Zich says it is too early to tell.

“I have heard some of the airlines have been saying this has had even more of an impact on them than 9/11 but I think it is early it is hard to say how long this will go and what the actual impact will be long term,” Zich says.

In the meantime, for some travelers, it is business as usual.

“I think it is good to be vigilant but it doesn’t pay to panic,” Becker said.

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