The person had been visiting family in the area and then tested positive for the virus, but told health department officials of plans to return home. They explained to the patient the risks of this (including the risk to others).
It became clear to officials that the person was planning on disobeying the orders and still flying home. Health department officials stay in contact with positive patients so that they can make sure they’re obeying orders, and it was clear this person wasn’t doing so.
The Ingham County Health Department notified the Capital Region International Airport of the situation. The airport was able to work with airlines to determine that the patient had in fact booked a flight. A cease-and-desist order was even issued for the passenger (if the person wouldn’t comply, then health officers could petition courts for a judicial order).
Airport staff were able to locate the passenger before the security checkpoint, and the subject voluntarily left at that point.
As Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail described the situation:
“We can’t have people hopping on planes that are known positive with COVID-19. We just can’t. It was like, ‘No you can’t.’”
I’m happy they found the passenger before s/he was able to travel. But seriously, how selfish (or dumb/ignorant) do you have to try to board a plane just shortly after testing positive for coronavirus?
The level of disregard this shows towards others is downright frightening. Obviously there are some people who fly with COVID-19 without knowing it, but to do so intentionally shows an indescribable amount of disregard for others.
Frankly I feel like there should be punishment for someone who does this…