JetBlue has permanently banned a passenger after the individual failed to disclose that he was waiting for coronavirus test results, and then received a positive diagnosis in the middle of a flight.
According to The Washington Post, the passenger was flying from New York City to Palm Beach, Florida, when they received the results, and the other passengers were notified of the potential exposure.
“Last night’s event put our crewmembers, customers and federal and local officials in an unsettling situation that could have easily been avoided,” JetBlue said in a statement, reports the news agency. “As such, this customer will not be permitted to fly on JetBlue in the future.”
After deboarding the plane, passengers received advice from health officials called to the scene, but were allegedly not advised to self-quarantine, reports CNBC.
“We were told that because he wasn’t sneezing or coughing at all, that we’re fine,” said the passenger, who was on a flight to visit his parents. “I personally went over to the woman, to the doctor, and asked and explained my exact story, and she said it’s a personal decision if you want to stay with them.”
The Post reports that the airport where the infected passenger landed has since been cleaned, and the gate at the airport from which the passenger departed has also been cleaned.
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, President Trump has declared a national emergency in a bid to free up billions of dollars in federal aid and remove certain legal barriers that can inhibit the ability of the federal government to act during a pandemic.
According to The New York Times, the declaration “empowers the president to direct any federal agency to use its personnel, facilities and equipment to support state and local emergency efforts, disseminate public health and safety information, provide public health and safety measures, and distribute supplies like medicine and food.”
President Trump also announced Friday evening that the administration had reached a legislative deal with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-NY), and encouraged Republicans to support the bill.
“This Bill will follow my direction for free CoronaVirus tests, and paid sick leave for our impacted American workers. I have directed the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations that will provide flexibility so that in no way will Small Businesses be hurt. I encourage all Republicans and Democrats to come together,” the president announced on Twitter.
….the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations that will provide flexibility so that in no way will Small Businesses be hurt. I encourage all Republicans and Democrats to come together and VOTE YES! I will always put….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2020
According to Fox News, the legislation includes paid sick leave, enhancements to existing unemployment insurance, an increase in funding for government food-initiatives, more federal funding to Medicaid, and undisclosed coronavirus testing measures.
“This legislation is about testing, testing, testing,” said Pelosi, reports the news agency. “To stop the spread of the virus, we have secured free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured. We cannot fight coronavirus effectively unless everyone in our country who needs to be tested can get their test free of charge.”