ROCHESTER, Minn. - As the coronavirus continues to cause concern around the world two domestic airlines have canceled their flights to China.
The decision comes after the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency.
American Airlines is halting flights to China beginning today through March 28th. Delta Airlines is also suspending flight from the U.S. to China beginning February 6th through April 30th.
In Rochester officials at RSP say, at this point, no new guidelines have been issued that would make the airline change its policies. However, travelers at the airport are taking precautions.
Passenger Robbie Milligan said, "Actually coming here I wore a mask and I will when I get on an enclosed plane or in a gate area."
Hollie and Elizabeth Clarke say as they're heading to Texas through RSP they're making a conscious effort to watch their health.
Hollie explained, "We're always careful about washing your hands, using sanitizer things like that. Be vigilant and watch who is around you."
A Mayo Clinic doctor and vaccine expert says while wearing a surgical mask isn't foolproof it can help stop the spread of illness.
Dr. Gregory Poland explained, "If I'm infected and I cough I prevent those large respiratory droplets from being expelled into the air. It doesn't stop aerosolized virus and that's a key limitation of those masks."
While there's still a lot to learn about the novel coronavirus Dr. Poland says there's no reason to panic at this point. However, if you're ill it's a good idea to practice "social distancing."
He explained, "Staying away from people who are ill or if you're ill staying at home not going to school or work or the mall. The other thing is very frequent hand washing. Keep your hands off your face and those are really key things to be doing."
American Airlines also says it will be contacting impacted customers directly to help make alternative flight arrangements.
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