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Cheyenne airport to cancel commercial flights amid virus
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Cheyenne airport to cancel commercial flights amid virus

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The airport serving Wyoming's biggest city will cancel all regular commercial flights because of concerns about the coronavirus and a drop in demand for air travel.

The airport's only regular service is to and from Dallas. The last American Eagle flight to Dallas will be on April 6. Flights from Dallas to Cheyenne will stop after April 7. Flights are continuing for now to handle a lingering crush of travel demand, said Cheyenne Regional Airport Director Tim Barth.

"As we are looking out over the next two weeks, which is traditionally the spring break period for colleges and for families to take vacations, a number of people would be stranded if the flights stopped right now," Barth said.

Wyoming Air National Guard flights and non-commercial aviation will continue at the Cheyenne airport, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports.

The Dallas flights have been offered since 2018 under a minimum-revenue guarantee agreement between the airport and operator SkyWest Airlines. Airport officials said they didn't know when commercial service might resume.

"Some experts say 90 days and some are saying six months," Barth said. "Having gone through 9/11, it's really easy to turn off the aviation system and pull the plug on it ... it's a lot harder to turn it back on again."

As of Thursday, at least 18 people in Wyoming had tested positive for the coronavirus.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms and the vast majority recover. The elderly and people with existing health problems can get pneumonia or other serious illnesses.

In other Wyoming coronavirus news:

- The Wyoming Department of Corrections has canceled inmate visitation and volunteer programs at all prison facilities and is restricting legal consultations to phone, video and non-contact visits. There were no known staff or inmate coronavirus cases, department officials said.

- F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne reported its first coronavirus case in an adult, a male military member who sought medical attention and went into self isolation upon returning from out of state. He did not go on the base after his return, Air Force officials said in a statement.

- The Wyoming Highway Patrol will help ensure deliveries of coronavirus-related medical supplies Thursday amid blizzard conditions forecast for southeast Wyoming, Wyoming Department of Transportation officials said in a statement.

- Four isolated Medicine Bow National Forest cabins in southern Wyoming and northern Colorado that were built for rangers but are now used for recreation will no longer be available for overnight stays through this fall due to coronavirus precautions, national forest officials said in a statement.

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