Colpitts and Partners Take on COVID-19
In the travel industry, there are always new challenges to address. COVID-19 may be the biggest we have faced, but together with our partners, we are taking on the challenge. Many of our vendor partners were quick to implement strategies to help protect our clinical patients while ensuring they receive the care they need. Our strategies continue to evolve as we implement new safety measures and ideas, and as we monitor what is going on in all areas of the world with the latest information on the impact of the virus.
New ways to ensure patient safety
Travel may seem impossible at the time, but our partners are innovating new ways to ensure patient safety when travel is necessary. Colpitts’ air ambulance partner has trained COVID-19 teams and has started using isolation pods, which create a tent over a stretcher to isolate the patient, but also allows medical personnel to perform care. This is a significant development because it protects responders and caregivers from the point where they initiate contact with the patient in a ground ambulance, to a flight, to another mode of ground transportation, and finally to a hospital. Medical teams cannot quarantine after each flight, so this is an essential step in protecting our healthcare resources on the front lines. The isolation pods also create the opportunity for families to sometimes accompany the patient during travel.
There are so many potential touch points when traveling. Collectively with our partners, we are working to ensure that essential travel is conducted as safely as possible. Our sedan service partners have amped up cleaning and disinfecting after each individual ride. All handles, power switches and door storage areas, windows, cup holders and children’s car seats are sanitized after every passenger is dropped off at their destination.
Hotels are protecting their guests
Hotels are protecting their guests at their properties using their resources to continuously clean and disinfect based on the guidance from the leading health organizations. Hotels continually review the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of all areas in the hotel, including guestrooms, restrooms, leisure facilities, and other public areas paying special attention to the high-frequency touch areas, for example light switches, remote controls, telephones, door handles, toilet flush, shower controls, tap faucets, and elevator call buttons.
We know that the question on everyone’s mind is “Should I travel?” or “How will I be able to travel?” Airlines are updating us immediately on the various changes to flight schedules, change and cancelation polices in order to offer travelers the options for making decisions about their travel plans. Airline cancelation, rebooking and refund polices vary by airline, travel destination, date booked and dates of travel.
Airlines are implementing enhanced sanitation procedures
Airlines have increased the rigor of cleaning and sanitizing the aircrafts. Including high-grade, EPA-registered disinfectants that are used on all flights, some are using a new disinfectant fogging process, providing more hand sanitizer, gloves for flight attendants, and implementing enhanced sanitation procedures. Many airlines have added additional measures to maximize social distancing to include reduced food and beverage offerings. Non-alcoholic beverages (water, canned drinks or juice) will be available on request, but no snacks or other food for purchase will be served. Meals will not be offered in first class. Gate agents are allowed to reassign seats to establish more room between passengers during flights. After boarding, customers can also move to a new seat if they desire more space in their ticketed cabin as long as it does not disrupt aircraft weight and balance restrictions. Policies vary per airline.
We realize that this is an especially difficult time for patients who have medical conditions that make them susceptible to complications from COVID-19, and those who need to travel in order to receive ongoing medical care. We are putting decades of industry experience together with our partners’ expertise to innovate solutions, coordinate patient needs, and be here as a resource for our community.