Richmond airport preps for spring break travelers amid flu, coronavirus concerns

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Despite widespread flu and coronavirus concerns, Richmond International Airport officials said Thursday that they are prepared for a busy few weeks with Virginia college students expected to head out on spring break vacation soon.

Spring break begins after classes on Friday for students from Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Union University and the University of Virginia.

“Today going to probably hit the 2020 high but we’ll probably beat that tomorrow,” Troy Bell, a spokesperson for the airport, told 8News. “It’s spring break and we’re seeing a lot of the universities heading out.”

Bell said the airport expects spring break crowds to last for the next five to six weeks.

“There’s about 100,000 undergrads in our service area,” he said.

With more people passing through, the threat of germs are a concern for many. Bell shared that Richmond International Airport is attempting to exceed CDC guidelines with their cleaning regimen.

Two big takeaways: more hand sanitizer in more locations and extra attention for “touch points.”

“Special emphasis on handrails like for the escalators behind me, buttons you might see at an elevator, when you’re going to a ticket counter,” Bell explained, “even a kiosk just like the little things like that.”

One traveler who arrived Thursday with a toddler told 8News she took her own precautions when traveling.

“We were wiping books down, the tray, the seat belt, the seat, everything,” Rachel Gillespie said.

With a heightened awareness of germs, airport officials in Richmond say their standards have only been raised.

“Just know that keeping things clean at the airport and disinfected, the things that we control, has always been a super high emphasis and we certainly haven’t backed off in this climate,” Bell told 8News.

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