Victoria Sutton on regulations to get airline data for contact tracing

Victoria Sutton, law professor at Texas Tech, is blogging about coronavirus on her Biominute Blog. Lots of great analysis there.

Particularly worth a look is her discussion of regulations requiring airlines to collect information about passengers for reporting to public health authorities to facilitate contact tracing. Her particular focus is on new U.S. regulations, found in 42 CFR 70 & 71, which allows the CDC to issue orders requiring airlines to provide such information.

Professor Sutton tells a surprising and wince-inducing story of meeting a passenger on a flight in mid March who found out he had previously been on a flight with a passenger who’d tested positive for COVID-19. The twist is that the passenger didn’t find this out by being contacted by public health authorities or the airlines. Instead, he found out about it on the news.