No foul play. No ill intentions. But a fine display of coordination by health and law enforcement officials deserves great praise after a mother and her COVID-19-positive son were stopped from boarding a flight to Puerto Rico.
Police Stop Family From Boarding Flight After Boy Tests Positive For COVID-19
A mother and her 9-year-old son planned a trip to Puerto Rico over Thanksgiving. The day before their departure, they took a COVID-19 test. While still waiting for their results, they checked into their flight from Baltimore (which narrows the choices to Southwest Airlines or Spirit Airlines) then headed to the airport. Their flight was scheduled to depart just after 4:00pm (which seems to narrow it down further to Southwest Airlines).
Meanwhile, their tests came back..and the boy tested positive. At 3:00pm, Wicomico County Health Department notified Maryland State Police of the positive result, noting the two were scheduled to fly to San Juan in about an hour.
The State Police immediately sprang into action, notifying the Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA) Police of the situation and later forwarding an isolation and quarantine order from health officials. The MTA Police, which handle policing in Maryland airports including Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, attempted to track down the couple.
45 minutes later, less than a half hour before scheduled takeoff, the MTA Police found the mother and her son, just before they boarded. They were sent home and instructed to isolate.
Unlike the couple who deliberately tried to board a flight to Hawaii knowing they had tested positive for COVID-19, the mother and son appear to be innocent here. There’s no indication they ignored phone calls or emails and attempted to fly anyway.
But whether they were innocent or not is not the point of this story. Instead, I’m impressed that three agencies were able to coordinate so quickly and stop these two from boarding a flight. Did it ever dawn on anyone to call Southwest Airlines?
I’d like to think that with proper face coverings, the two would have been a limited threat onboard. Still, no one should be flying if they have recently tested positive for COVID-19. The coordination between agencies demonstrates what is possible when we work together, even in the divided states of America…
image: BWI Airport