Newark Among Airports Handling China Flights Amid Coronavirus
NEWARK — Newark Liberty International Airport is one of 11 major U.S. airports authorized to receive flights from China, under tightened entry screenings for novel coronavirus, according to Governor Phil Murphy.
On Sunday at 5 p.m., the U.S. government suspended entry of foreign nationals who have been in China within the past 14 days, according to a proclamation signed by President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, a number of students at Princeton University were briefly self-isolated after recent travel to China.
Princeton University spokesman Michael Hotchkiss said about 100 students – undergraduates and graduates – were self-quarantined Sunday, before health assessments cleared them as "low risk" and they were able to resume campus interactions. By Monday evening, there were less than 20 students still undergoing evaluations.
U.S. citizens, residents and immediate family members who have been in parts of mainland China still are allowed to enter the United States, but are subject to health monitoring and possible quarantine for up to 14 days, according to the CDC webpage on coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Americans arriving from China will be re-routed "at no cost to the traveler" to Newark, JFK or one of 9 other U.S. airports, as announced Sunday through the Department of Homeland Security.
There are no cases of the virus in New Jersey and none suspected either as of Monday, according to state health officials.
The Pentagon confirmed Saturday that four U.S. military bases have been identified as housing support for up to 1,000 people who may need to be quarantined under the new restrictions.
Three of the four bases are in California and the last is is Fort Carson, Colorado.
There has been no public mention of where travelers who arrive in Newark may be quarantined if they show symptoms of the virus.
China’s Health Commission confirmed 361 deaths nationwide and more than 17,200 novel coronavirus infections as of Sunday, as reported by the New York Times.
That is more than the number of confirmed cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus in 2003.
Eleven confirmed cases of novel coronavirus are in the United States as of Monday, among 23 countries other than China dealing with the virus.
CDC and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are carrying out enhanced health screenings at Newark, JFK and 9 other U.S. airports to detect travelers with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing when entering the United States, according to the CDC website.
The screening procedures include travelers filling out a short questionnaire, before CDC staff use a hand-held non-contact thermometer to monitor temperature and observe for symptoms such as cough or difficulty breathing.
If sick travelers are identified, the CDC will evaluates them further to determine whether they should be taken to a hospital for medical evaluation.
Otherwise, travelers arriving from China will be given health information cards, which explain what to do if they develop symptoms within 14 days.
The CDC outlined "unprecedented steps" being taken in response to what it called a growing public health threat, as Murphy created a Coronavirus Task Force Monday to coordinate all state efforts in dealing with the disease.
“We are bringing together experts across state agencies, health officials, and federal partners to ensure that we are working collaboratively to protect the health and safety of all New Jerseyans,” Murphy said in a written statement.
The Coronavirus Task Force is chaired by NJ Health Department Commissioner Judith Persichilli, while including representatives from the state Departments of Education, Human Services, Law and Public Safety, State Police, and the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
There also is a free, 24-hour hotline operated by the New Jersey Poison Center to answer questions about coronavirus, at 1-800-222-1222.
The other U.S. airports accepting flights from China are as follows:
Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Illinois
San Francisco International Airport, California
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington
Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, Hawaii
Los Angeles International Airport, California
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Georgia
Washington-Dulles International Airport, Virginia
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Texas
Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Michigan