While the risk of novel (new) coronavirus (2019 nCoV) is low in the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is taking proactive preparedness precautions. CDC and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will implement enhanced health screenings to detect ill travelers traveling to the United States on direct or connecting flights from Wuhan, China.
Starting today, travelers from Wuhan to the United States will undergo entry screening for symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV at three U.S. airports that receive most of the travelers from Wuhan, China: San Francisco (SFO), New York (JFK), and Los Angeles (LAX) airports. JFK and SFO have direct flights from Wuhan.
Entry screening is part of a layered approach used with other public health measures already in place to detect arriving travelers who are sick (such as detection and reporting of ill travelers by airlines during travel and referral of ill travelers arriving at a US port of entry by CBP) to slow and reduce the spread of any disease into the United States.
CDC is deploying about 100 additional staff to the three airports (SFO, JFK, and LAX) to supplement existing staff at CDC quarantine stations located at those airports.
“To further protect the health of the American public during the emergence of this novel coronavirus, CDC is beginning entry screening at three ports of entry. Investigations into this novel coronavirus are ongoing and we are monitoring and responding to this evolving situation,” said Martin Cetron, M.D., Director of CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.