How California Airports Are Adapting to Coronavirus Outbreak

Updated: 2020-02-13 17:10:11

Worldwide, people are taking precautions after the novel coronavirus broke out last December in Wuhan, China. Airports are among those taking preventive measures.

The Epoch Times contacted some of the major airports in California to see how each is doing so far and what changes they have made.

Doug Yakel, a spokesperson for the San Francisco International Airport (SFO), said they are reducing flights between the airport and China. Over 68 percent of all SFO flights to and from China, including Hong Kong, have been suspended.

The airport has been working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to screen international passengers.

“The CDC has been conducting these screenings at SFO since January 18th. The initial focus on the screening was for passengers who had visited the Hubei province, but on February 2nd, the CDC expanded screenings to any passenger who had been in mainland China over the last 14 days. Screenings are being conducted inside the Customs facility at SFO,” wrote Yakel in an email.

Becca Doten, a Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) spokesperson, said they are continuing to screen passengers for potential signs of the virus.

“The safety and security of our guests and employees is the top priority at Los Angeles World Airports and we have been taking every precaution to keep travelers and employees safe, including deep cleaning of restroom facilities and other public areas of the terminals, creating informational signage for travelers, installing more than 100 additional hand sanitizer stations throughout the airport and providing resources for CDC health screeners at the airport. The airport continues to work with these agencies and stands ready to take any additional actions they recommend as health experts,” Doten wrote.

Sabrina LoPiccolo, a spokesperson of the San Diego International Airport (SAN), said that the airport has no direct flights to or from China, but they are still monitoring the situation.

“SAN is one of 20 airports in the U.S. that [have] a CDC quarantine station nearby. The CDC has informed us that if Customs and Border Protection personnel at our International Arrivals facility encounter an ill passenger, they are to contact the CDC directly for further assessment,” LoPiccolo wrote.

They also have graphic monitors that inform passengers what to do if they feel sick.

Keonnis Taylor, a spokesperson for the Oakland International Airport, said that this airport also does not have direct flights to and from China, but they are in close contact with the CDC and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“As a precaution, last week the Airport hosted a joint review of its Infectious Disease Response Plan, in conjunction with the CDC and Oakland Fire Department (OFD), and other first responders. To date, no operational changes have been required—including quarantines, delays, or cancellations—as a result of the coronavirus,” wrote Taylor.

They all recommend that travelers wash hands frequently, avoid traveling to affected areas, and follow CDC guidance for further ways to prevent the spreading of germs.

On Feb. 2, the US Department of State issued a level 4 travel advisory for China.The CDC recommended that travelers avoid going to China if it’s not essential. If there are people who must go, the website advises them to discuss it with their healthcare provider first, avoid contact with people, and avoid sick people.

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