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An epidemiologist answers the biggest questions she's getting about coronavirus. Wochit

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What are U.S. domestic carriers and their regional partners doing to ensure their aircraft and gates are properly sanitized amid coronavirus concerns?

– Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Every airline has increased cleaning, using EPA-approved cleaning agents that are designed to kill viruses and bacteria. Most airlines are also cleaning the cabins multiple times a day, followed by a more extensive cleaning when the planes are on the ground overnight. They also use HEPA filters, which can completely change a plane's air supply up to 30 times per hour.

You can check individual airlines' websites to see exactly what they are doing but here are a few examples:

Delta announced its cleaning crews using a new “fogger” to increase effectiveness and speed of its cleaning efforts. Crews also clean frequently touched spots like  tray tables, seatback screens, overhead bins and lavatories. It's also wiping down airport check-in kiosks multiple times per day and encouraging customers to check in remotely via the Fly Delta app.

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Southwest said it is using a hospital-grade disinfectant on aircraft interiors. The cleaning routine involves the seat belt buckles and flight attendant call buttons and even the controls used by the pilots in the flight deck. Southwest has also eliminated its in-flight beverage service.

JetBlue president Joanne Geraghty told USA TODAY the airline is deep-cleaning "every piece" of its aircrafts, including walls, ceilings, shades and lavatories. It is reducing the number of touch points and providing passengers with disinfectant wipes.

"We’ve increased the rigor of our cleaning," she said. "We’re really trying to drive 真人百家家乐官网网站home good hygiene."

John Cox is a retired airline captain with US Airways and runs his own aviation safety consulting company, Safety Operating Systems.

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