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Coronavirus Latest & What You Should Know

by Roseann Freitas Roseann Freitas | Feb 5, 2020 2:07:06 PM

Have you walked through an airport lately? Many of those tired
travelers you see rolling their suitcases from one flight to the next may look
a little different. Many of those travelers are wearing masks. They are a
response to the coronavirus outbreak. It began at the end of December in China
and is now in 27 countries as of February 3, 2020. Twelve cases, as of Tuesday,
have been reported in the United States in Washington, California, Arizona,
Illinois, Massachusetts and now Wisconsin. The Center for Disease Control is
taking aggressive measures to slow down the spread of the virus in the US.

On January 31, 2020, Alex Azar, US Secretary of Health &
Human Services, issued a public health emergency. In response, foreign national
travelers who were in China within the past 14 days, will not be allowed entry
into the United States. US citizens returning from China are to be closely
monitored and face possible quarantine for 14-days.

US citizens flying back from China and travelers who were in
China during the previous 2-week period will find their flights diverted to one
of 11 US airports designated as gateway destinations. The gateway destinations
provide enhanced health screening. Two airports in the Northwest + Pacific
region are Daniel K. Inouye Airport in Honolulu, HI, and Seattle–Tacoma,
Washington. Each of the gateway locations can provide lodging for quarantine
travelers. The state of Hawaii is looking to quarantine travelers at Pearl
Harbor Naval Air Station as it provides security, limited public access, and
support staff.

The goal of limiting travel from the affected area is to
slow down the spread of the virus. US Department of Homeland Security, Ken
Cuccinelli, said: “the steps that we’re taking in the US are to dramatically
slow its spread and to use that time to learn more about this new virus that
has literally existed on earth for less than two months.”

Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent coronavirus. The Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing hands, avoid
contact with sick people, and stay home when sick. The CDC also recommends avoiding
nonessential travel to China. If you are scheduled for a trip to China, contact
your airline provider about rescheduling.

The impact felt by travelers and the economy
will continue to grow with the spread of the virus and will play out over the
next few weeks or months. Don’t expect to see the masks of the airline traveler
come off soon.

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