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Sea-Tac Airport responds to coronavirus with new steps for healthy travel

A pair of workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport wear masks Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in SeaTac, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the focus for preventing the spread of coronavirus is on disinfecting common areas and encouraging passengers and employees to practice good hygiene habits.

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The protocols released Tuesday by the Port of Seattle include 45 new hand sanitizers at security checkpoints, jet bridges, boarding gates, ground transportation centers, and check-in counters, with plans to install 100.

Sea-Tac has increased the frequency of cleaning “high touch point areas,” and has conducted training in bio-hazard cleaning, should it be necessary.

Individual airline partners, including Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines, are taking steps to keep travel safe for passengers and employees with enhanced cleaning efforts between flights, in addition to regular cleaning.

Alaska is offering flexible travel options, and Delta has adjusted travel schedules and waived change fees for affected destinations. To find more information, visit the individual websites of each airline.

According to the Port of Seattle, more than 80 flights between Feb. 2 and March 7 have been suspended to mainland China, and many airlines have since announced reductions or cancellations to South Korea, Hong Kong, and other locations with known outbreaks.

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All travelers are encouraged to help prevent the spread of germs by practicing personal hygiene habits, including: not using your mouth to hold anything that gets passed to someone else (passports, boarding passes, pens); washing your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds; not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue; cleaning your devices; and staying home if you’re sick.

The protocols “build on steps the Port began taking one month ago” after the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Washington state, supporting actions taken by maritime and airline partners and federal agencies.

“The Port, along with our aviation, maritime operators, and federal agencies are working together for the safety of our passengers and employees,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Peter Steinbrueck. “Our port’s transportation facilities play a critical role in the local economy, millions of people and their personal lives. We appreciate the efforts by all employees and partners who are doing everything possible to keep travel safe for all.”

For more information about actions being taken by the Port of Seattle, visit the Traveler Update page.

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