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Durango airport must enforce mask use

I am writing to express my disappointment in the Durango-La Plata County Airport and its failure to support COVID-19-relevant public health measures.

I am a Durango native who traveled home for the holiday. I traveled for work earlier in the fall, and after passing through large hubs like Washington, D.C., Chicago and Houston, the largest group of people blatantly ignoring the mask mandate I saw was in the Durango airport.

As an advanced emergency medical technician, I see firsthand the ramifications of COVID-19 infection in my community. Care for infected patients involves gloving, being taped into a Tyvek suit by my EMT partner and a full, head respirator. As a health care provider, I am committed to delivering the best care possible regardless of pandemic conditions. I know PPE is the best option to keep my patients, myself and my loved ones safe.

While numerous health care providers have appealed to the public to “help us, help you” by masking in public, sometimes our pleas fall on deaf ears. Thankfully, the Transportation Security Administration has maintained a federal mask mandate for airline travel. Durango-La Plata County Airport’s failure to uphold this mandate is a public health risk that should be remedied immediately with consistent enforcement.

The Durango-La Plata County Airport has a responsibility to enforce this mandate for the safety of this community, as well as all the communities on the flight paths they service.

Brittney Honisch

Damariscotta, Maine