Eastern Iowa Airport Suspending Passenger Health Screenings
In a sign of life getting back to normal, the Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) announced on Monday it will soon suspend the "Travel Well" health screening program it implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. With an increase in passengers and acknowledging the decrease in COVID cases due to more vaccination availability, officials announced that the program will stop on July 1.
That's interesting timing, as it comes just ahead of the busy 4th of July weekend. According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, they also wanted to give their partners, Mercy Medical Center a bit more than the 30-days notice required in their agreement before termination.
What if Coronavirus case averages begin to increase again?
The contract with Mercy will be re-entered should these issues arise and the screening infrastructure is well-established should that need to happen. Mercy will stay "on-call" to re-implement the program, if necessary, through the end of the calendar year 2021.
How much of an increase in cases would be cause to re-implement the program?
CID director Marty Lenss says Mercy's guidance along with that of the medical community, in general, will be used in determining the specific threshold, which there isn't one right now.
Are other protocols being lifted?
CID touts the cooperation of the public in making their two-step "Travel Well" screening process, involving temperature checks and basic health questions, a success since it began on January 25 and Lenss has no doubt that based on current data, the timing is right to ease up.
Even after the "Travel Well" program is suspended, CID will still require passengers, visitors and staff to wear masks through September 13, per guidelines from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Other protocols on the airport's part like thorough use of electrostatic sprayers to disinfect surfaces and availability of copious amounts of hand sanitizer will continue.
In a bit more good news, CID continues to make improvements and upgrades and intends to soon make it possible for passengers to make contact with fewer surfaces in the first place.