Coronovirus screening at US airports

Containment efforts have increased in the US with enhanced screening for coronavirus now in force in international airports across the country.

Agencies within the Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services are operating a three-layer screening process at 11 US airports receiving passengers from China.

The enhanced screening process begins with Customs and Border Protection agents questioning passengers about their recent travel history. Those determined to be at risk are sent to a secondary screening with contract health workers. Passengers then have their temperature taken and are asked if they have any symptoms.

Passengers who show signs of infection are then further evaluated by CDC personnel.

Anyone suspected of the illness will be quarantined and sent to a medical facility for further evaluation.

Those who have visited Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicenter, face a 14-day quarantine before they can complete their trip.

Those who have visited other parts of China are directed to stay home and monitor for signs of infection.

John F. Kennedy, Los Angeles and San Francisco international airports were the first to start screening for the coronavirus in January, followed by O’Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson international airports. The screening was increased to a total of 20 airports across the US within a week.

The US has also imposed ban on foreigners with a recent travel history to China.

The coronavirus has crossed borders, with cases confirmed in countries across the world including the US, Canada, UK, Russia, Germany, France, Japan, India, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, and Thailand.

The US Department of State has issued level-4 travel advisory to China, advising the public not to travel to China: “CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The outbreak is growing and there is limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas.”

Last updated: February 16, 2020