Sky Harbor Airport preparing for holiday travel germs

In just a few short weeks, airport travel will increase for the holiday season. 150,000 passengers will be traveling through Sky Harbor Airport to visit family across the country for a 12-day travel period around Thanksgiving.

Traveling with these passengers, germs and viruses from all over the country.

Airport officials are working now to try to keep your families not only safe, but healthy for this holiday season.

“We have an incredible group of people who clean the airport multiple times during the day,” said Deborah Ostriecher, Assistant Aviation Director for Sky Harbor. “So as you go through the airport you’ll see them and during busier times of course it takes extra people extra hours to keep the airport clean.”

But don’t rely solely on airport employees to keep you and your family healthy. There are now extra precautions you can take.

“For anyone, traveling or not, we would highly encourage anybody to get their flu shot if they haven’t already,” Harmony Duport, Deputy Chief of the Arizona Department of Health’s Bureau of Epidemiology and Disease Control said. “We always encourage people anytime of the year to practice very good hand washing.”

While minimal contact with objects that mass amount of people touch — like door handles and guard rails — may seem like a good idea, it might not be your best line of defense.

“Anybody who suggests not to grab hand rails as you’re going down escalators or up escalators, we would advice against that,” Ostriecher said “We would say definitely hold on. But if you’re concerned about germs, then having hand sanitizer handy for yourself or using one of the ones in the airport if you’re concerned about germs is a good idea.”

If you are going out of the country, the Arizona Department of Health encourages travelers to go to the Centers for Disease Control website to check if extra vaccines are needed for the country they are visiting.