Delta Airlines Passenger Tests Positive for Coronavirus, Was Contagious on Flight Out of JFK

The passenger has since been under self-isolation quarantine upon arrival in Rochester, New York on Saturday

A Delta Airlines passenger who flew from John F. Kennedy Airport to Rochester, New York, has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), according to the Monroe County Health Department. The individual is believed to have been contagious at the time of the flight over the weekend.

In a statement shared on Twitter Wednesday evening, the county health department said, Delta Airlines flight 4824 departed JFK at 4:05 p.m. and arrived at ROC at 5:55 p.m. on Saturday, adding that they believe the individual, whose identity remains unknown, had coronavirus “while en route” to New York, making them contagious to the rest of the passengers.

“This individual has been under self isolation since arrival, and close household contacts have been under self-quarantine,” the statement continued.

Delta Airlines said in a statement to PEOPLE, “With regard to reports of any COVID-19 exposure, we continue to follow all guidelines from the CDC and local health officials. The safety and health of our customers and crew remain our top priority.”

Monroe County Health Department also asked all individuals on the Delta Airlines flight and those that were in the Greater Rochester International Airport between 5:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. on Saturday to monitor themselves for fever, cough and shortness of breath. If they exhibit these symptoms, they should contact their health professional.

As of Wednesday, there are 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County, the health department said — three of which are new cases.

Delta Air Lines
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Last week, a passenger on a JetBlue flight from New York City to Palm Beach, Florida had tested positive for COVID-19 prior to boarding. Upon landing, the plane was kept on the tarmac for nearly two hours as health officials spoke with the crew members and 114 passengers on board.

Like the Delta Airlines flight, passengers were told to monitor themselves for symptoms of the coronavirus, but were allowed to leave the airport without meeting with a doctor.

JetBlue said in a statement shared with PEOPLE that the passenger would no longer be allowed on JetBlue flights.

“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.”

As of Thursday morning, there have been at least 8,317 cases of coronavirus in the United States and 147 deaths. New York has 2,832 cases, the most of any state, and 21 deaths.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

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