This is from the White House on the steps being taken. As you can see the airports are on the east coast and so far nothing has really affected the west coast areas beyond Texas. All of this doesn’t begin until next week with screening people arriving from areas where the Ebola infections exist. With the current conditions in Chicago, this may make flying in and out of there a little bit more cumbersome since the fire but it has to be done. You might wonder why this has taken so long as have many of the Ebola processes to kick in high gear? BD
Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the following five U.S. airports will soon begin enhanced Ebola screening for all travelers coming from Ebola-affected countries:
- John F. Kennedy International Airport - New York, NY
- Washington Dulles International Airport - Washington, D.C.
- Newark Liberty International Airport - Newark, NJ
- Chicago O'Hare International Airport - Chicago, IL
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport - Atlanta, GA
These five airports receive more than 94% of travelers coming to the United States from the Ebola-affected nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
Here's what will happen after travelers' passports are reviewed upon their arrival at any of these airports:
- Travelers from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone will be escorted by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to an area of the airport set aside for screening.
- Trained CBP staff will observe them for signs of illness, ask them a series of health and exposure questions and provide health information for Ebola and reminders to monitor themselves for symptoms. Trained medical staff will take their temperature with a non-contact thermometer.
- If the travelers have fever, symptoms or the health questionnaire reveals possible Ebola exposure, they will be evaluated by a CDC quarantine station public health officer. The public health officer will again take a temperature reading and make a public health assessment. Travelers, who after this assessment, are determined to require further evaluation or monitoring will be referred to the appropriate public health authority.
- Travelers from these countries who have neither symptoms/fever nor a known history of exposure will receive health information for self-monitoring.
JFK International Airport will implement the new screening measures this Saturday, while Washington Dulles, Newark, Chicago O'Hare, and Atlanta will begin next week. CDC is also sending additional staff to these five airports.
“CBP personnel will continue to observe all travelers entering the United States for general overt signs of illnesses at all U.S. ports of entry and these expanded screening measures will provide an additional layer of protection to help ensure the risk of Ebola in the United States is minimized,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. “CBP, working closely with CDC, will continue to assess the risk of the spread of Ebola into the United States, and take additional measures, as necessary, to protect the American people.