June 18, 2020 – Airports across the United States are beginning to require all passengers and visitors to wear face coverings to combat the spread of COVID-19, and MidAmerica St. Louis Airport (BLV) is among them. The new policy went into effect at MidAmerica Airport on June 15th and, in accordance with CDC guidelines and St. Clair County Health Department guidance for wearing a face covering in public spaces, it requires a mask be worn by anyone entering the airport terminal. BLV is believed to be the first airport in Illinois to officially require the use of face coverings or masks throughout the airport. This requirement is in addition to a series of other measures already in place at MidAmerica Airport to help protect the health and wellbeing of passengers and employees as demand for air travel slowly increases.
Most airlines already require passengers to wear face coverings at ticket counters, upon boarding and during their flight, and other carriers appear slated to enforce the precautionary measure in the days to come.
“Guests should bring a face covering with them so it can be worn throughout the airport journey for their protection and the protection of others in the terminal,” said Bryan Johnson, Airport Director for MidAmerica St. Louis Airport. “Similar to airline policies, guests at MidAmerica are allowed to remove their masks for a short time in order to consume food or beverages, but must put their masks back on when they are finished eating.”
Acceptable face coverings include bandanas, scarves, t-shirts, and other fabric that’s held in place over a person’s nose and mouth. In addition, MidAmerica is also encouraging travelers to wash or sanitize their hands frequently, stay at least six feet away from other people and avoid entering the airport if they are sick or symptomatic.
“MidAmerica Airport remains committed to the safety and health of all passengers and employees, and airport staff continue to have a high level of interaction with local, state and federal health officials regarding measures to protect against the novel coronavirus,” said St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern. “We believe the face covering requirement, in addition to the many other measures we’ve already put in place, can make a difference in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
MidAmerica Airport has already implemented the following measures as part of its efforts to protect passengers and employees:
- The airport is following the CDC recommendations for cleaning and disinfection agents that kills all coronaviruses.
- Custodial staff have increased the cleaning of high-touch points, such as handrails, buttons and door handles with this federally approved germicidal agent.
- MidAmerica has deployed battery operated sprayers and all-surface cleaning equipment for specialized and as-needed cleaning requirements.
- 25 additional hand sanitizers have been deployed throughout the airport for both passenger and employee use.
- Floor markings designating 6-foot spacing are in place in areas where passengers may line up for tickets, check in or other activities to help facilitate social distancing.
Public Health Information
- The airport has produced and distributed public health posters, created by the St. Clair County Health Department, in public restrooms and other facilities, outlining steps to protect against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
- MidAmerica is also posting CDC-produced infographics outlining similar protective measures against the coronaviruses for employees, airport staff and tenants located within the passenger terminal.
CDC web page on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19): www.cdc.gov/covid19
St. Clair County Health Department: www.health.co.st-clair.il.us