JetBlue has banned a passenger who tested positive for the coronavirus from flying on the airline again after he boarded a flight from JFK Airport to Palm Beach, Florida, without waiting for test results first, an airline rep told The Post.
The man received a text that he was infected with the bug after he boarded Flight 253, which landed in Florida shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday, Palm Beach County health chief Dr. Alina Alonso said Thursday.
He and his wife were removed from the plane, which was delayed for several hours as the rest of the passengers were given instructions on what measures to take and the plane was sanitized.
“The health and safety of our customers and crewmembers is our first priority. In reviewing last night’s event, we determined the customer boarded our flight knowing he was awaiting results for a coronavirus test without disclosing it to anyone at JetBlue,” airline spokesman Derek Dombrowski told The Post in an email.
“Consistent with CDC guidance, we ask all customers who are not feeling well, who believe they may have coronavirus or who are awaiting test results to avoid travel until they are cleared by a medical professional,” he said.
“Last night’s event put our crewmembers, customers and federal and local officials in an unsettling situation that could have easily been avoided, and as such, this customer will not be permitted to fly on JetBlue in the future.”
One of the 114 passengers told WPTV that the man was taken to the back of the plane.
“He was wearing masks and gloves. His wife was sitting in the same row as me and mentioned to others that he wasn’t feeling well,” Scott Rodman said. “She said he had gotten a phone call with his test results right before we had taken off, implying that he had a positive test but not actually saying it.”
He added: “The guy was sitting, you know, five feet from me, and his wife was sitting two feet from me, so no, I’m not feeling great about it.”
The Florida Health Department said it worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “to conduct an extensive epidemiological investigation to determine which passengers may have had close contact with the individual.
“Any individual who is a close contact with this individual will be informed to self-monitor and will be contacted further by the Palm Beach County Health Department. The individual who tested positive is isolated at this time,” agency spokesman Alex Shaw told The Post.
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