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9-year-old with coronavirus stopped just before boarding plane at BWI Marshall Airport

A 9-year-old boy infected with the coronavirus was stopped by authorities just before boarding a plane at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, officials said.

The boy had tested positive for COVID-19 in Wicomico County, and county health officials had been unsuccessful in reaching his mother to notify her, according to Sgt. Travis Nelson, a Maryland State Police liaison to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

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The boy’s and mother’s identities were not released, and it was not clear when the test occurred or when the results became available. State Police received a call about 3 p.m. on Nov. 24, notifying them that the two were scheduled to board a flight to Puerto Rico in an hour and 15 minutes, Nelson said.

The Wicomico County health officer sent a legal isolation and quarantine order for the mother and son, which State Police passed along to Maryland Transportation Authority Police, who have jurisdiction at BWI. An MDTA Police spokesman referred questions to State Police.

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MDTA police intercepted them in the airport before they were able to board the plane and put them in contact with the Wicomico health department, Nelson said. The mother and son returned home to finish the required quarantine, he said.

Nelson said the effort highlighted the importance of the state’s robust coordination system in fighting the pandemic.

“The story demonstrates the trust and network built in Maryland that allowed quick action to be taken in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” the sergeant said.

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