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Eastern Iowa Airport’s “Travel Well” screening program sees positive feedback

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) - The Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) launched their "Travel Well" program to screen outbound passengers on Monday, Jan. 25.

The health screening program is in collaboration with Mercy Medical Center and MercyCare Business Health Solutions. Mercy is staffing the program with health care screeners, a nurse on-site, and can bring in physicians through telehealth.

Passengers will be screened with simple health related questions, along with a temperature check. The process takes around 10 seconds. Those who pass with no symptoms move on to standard TSA screening.

Those with temperatures above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, will move on to a second screening in a private room to meet with a health care professional to determine the condition. It will then be up to the airline if the passenger flies or not.

"Our goal is, it's one more layer into improving people's confidence level on air travel, feeling comfortable about traveling again and slowing the overall spread of COVID," airport director Marty Lenss said.

The initial feedback of the program has been positive and appreciative, with 70 survey responses from the first day of "Travel Well."

CID has not had to turn anyone away three days into the program, and no one has refused the screening. If someone were to refuse the screening they would not be granted access to the gates.

The program is funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) fund grant that CID received earlier this year. The equipment cost around $80,000 and the annual contract with Mercy Medical Center is approximately $700,000 - $800,000.

"We're hopefully playing our part and role in trying to help slow the spread of COVID, and restore air travel confidence, because air travel has been hit hard by the pandemic," Lenss said.

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Kennedy DeRaedt


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