Des Moines Sun

Des Moines Sun

Monday, April 6, 2020

Des Moines International Airport takes numerous steps to stop coronavirus spread


By Mary Lou Lang | Mar 19, 2020

Des Moines International Airport has taken numerous measures to fight the spread of coronavirus. | Wikimedia Commons/manop/

Des Moines International Airport has implemented several measures to protect passengers from the coronavirus and minimize the virus’ spread.

The director of operations at the airport, Clint Torp, explained the airport has ramped up cleaning high-traffic areas such as bathrooms, escalators and handrails, and elevator buttons, WHOTV reported.

The airport has also added hand-sanitizing stations across the airport for passengers and employees to use. The airport has posted signage in all bathrooms on the best personal hygiene practices.

The airport is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Iowa Department of Health in its COVID-19 response.

One of the best things the airport can do for their employees is to keep them educated, Torp said.  

“What we’re really doing is just increasing the education level and increasing the amount of hand sanitizer stations that we're putting out there so it's really upfront and in people’s visibility,” Torp told WHOTV.

Torp said the airport handles virus preventions every year and Iowa has seen 35 flu-related deaths this season already.

The airport in an advisory indicated they are also coordinating with their airline, tenants, passengers and employees in monitoring any changes the coronavirus may bring to the region.

Anyone employees are urged to stay home if ill, though Torp told WHOTV he hasn’t seen an increase in employees taking sick days this year.

While the CDC has started enhanced screening measures at 20 airports with quarantine stations, the Des Moines International Airport is not an airport that has additional screening as of now. That could change depending on any new developments.

Last week, President Donald Trump extended a European travel ban to include Ireland and the United Kingdom as the coronavirus continues to spread globally.

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