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Is it safe to fly this summer?

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 19:24:18-04

Airports, including Eppley Airfield in Omaha, are seeing an uptick in passengers since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

So now that the number of people flying is up, what does that mean for the spread of the virus?

"Flying is just an inherently more dangerous way to travel than other ways to travel,” said Dr. Mark Rupp of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

​Regardless, flying is something many have to get used to again. Dr. Rupp offers up some tips for those that are getting in the air.​

​And as repetitive as it may sound, Dr. Rupp's number one recommendation is still social distancing.

"Social distancing is by far the most important thing that we can do help prevent the spread of this virus person to person,” he said.

​Along with social distancing Dr. Rupp recommends turning on the air near your seat, as most modern planes filtrate air from the outside.

​"Everybody should be wearing a mask,” he said. “Masks aren't perfect by any means but they do help to have some filtration capacity for the people wearing the mask."

Eppley also has begun a public awareness campaign around the airport so travelers stay as safe as possible. ​

​"Travelers are encouraged to wear masks for sure for their safety and the safety of others while they're here at the airport,” said Steve McCoy of the Omaha Airport Authority. “Once they're on board that aircraft it's going to depend on the individual policy of the airline."

​Most airlines like United Airlines and Southwest are requiring travelers to wear masks. United Airlines even said it would begin placing passengers on "no-fly" lists if they fail to comply.​

​Many airlines and airports are taking matters seriously, but essentially the spread of this virus depends on the actions of each individual.