Cargo pilot becomes Alaska’s first coronavirus case

By Damian Brett

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) was last week notified that an “individual associated with a cargo flight” tested positive for coronavirus.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT) said the patient is a foreign national who developed a fever and respiratory symptoms shortly after arriving in Anchorage on March 11.

The patient immediately contacted their physician and then went to Alaska Regional Hospital for testing.

Local press reports suggest that the individual was a pilot and had stayed at hotel close to the airport.

The ADOT said that cargo flights to ANC strictly adhere to guidelines set out by the US Federal Aviation Administration and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

“Cargo crew members never come into contact with general passengers and they do not access the main terminal. Cargo crew members are cleared through US customs and border protection agents at ANC’s North Terminal,” ADOT said.

Cargo is not considered a health risk according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the US associated with imported goods.

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