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Local Health Departments Seeking Traveler Info For Flights Into Medford, Arcata

Rogue Valley International Medford Airport is where one of three commercial airline flights landed that local health officials think may have exposed passengers to COVID-19.

Health officials in Jackson, Klamath and Humboldt Counties are reaching out to passengers on three recent airline flights who may have been exposed to the coronavirus. 

The flights each carried a passenger who either later tested positive for COVID-19, or one of that person’s contacts whose test results are still pending.

Tanya Phillips – with Jackson County Public Health – says until the Centers for Disease Control finishes the initial investigation, local health departments don’t have a lot to go on.

"Right now we don’t know where the individual was sitting, who was sitting next to them, who was within six feet," she says. "So right now it’s just information for anyone who was on that flight."

Of concern is United Flight #5827 from LAX to Arcata on March 16, United Flight #5555 from SFO to Arcata on March 18 and Delta Flight #4124 from Seattle to Medford on March 18.

Phillips says the risk is low, but anyone who was on one of those flights should take precautions.

"We are asking that if they can quarantine at home for 14 days," she says. "If they do become symptomatic with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, that they are to contact their health care provider."

Local health officials are waiting for a federal investigation to release specific passenger information so they can made direct contact with those affected

Liam Moriarty has been covering news in the Pacific Northwest for three decades. He served two stints as JPR News Director and retired full-time from JPR at the end of 2021. Liam now edits and curates the news on JPR's website and digital platforms.