Korean Air Flight Attendant Tests Positive for CovID-19; Flew on LAX Route
A Korean Air flight attendant tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to Korea CDC on Tuesday, Seoul time.
The person was determined infected after serving on their Incheon-LAX route between February 19 and 20.
The cabin crewmember had also worked the Incheon-Tel Aviv route and may have contracted the virus from South Korean churchgoers who went on a pilgrimage to Israel and stayed in the country February 8 – 16. Of those 39 pilgrims who traveled as a group, 30 were later found infected with CovID-19.
Korean Air crew are known to frequent Koreatown, as well the neighboring areas of Larchmont Village, Windsor Square, Hancock Park, Miracle Mile, Downtown LA, Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
Koreatown itself is home to a significant community of Korean retirees and senior citizens who find the district easier to navigate via DASH bus than the Orange County suburbs where their offspring live.
According to data released by Korea CDC, the virus afflicts most severely those above the age of fifty, while ordinarily healthy children do not show any symptoms despite carrying the virus.
South Korea now has a total of 977 confirmed cases of COVid-19 with 11 deaths directly attributed to the virus. Cause of death is acute respiratory failure from pneumonia.
The United States has recorded 53 cases and no deaths.
Korean Air is South Korea’s largest airline by sales. It was serving 204 flights per week on 30 routes to China before the new coronavirus hit the airline industry. The numbers have dropped to 57 flights on 10 routes. On Tuesday, the company extended flight suspensions to China by one month through April 25.
* Correction was to the date of the LAX-Incheon flight.
UPDATE: Late in the week, the South Korean consulate in Los Angeles released a statement about the flight attendant’s itinerary. She claims to NOT have visited Koreatown at all. During her layover in Los Angeles, she visited only two places, neither one of which was in or near Koreatown. Those two places have not been revealed.