CDC Expands COVID-19 Surveillance at Four US Airports

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88 shares, 149 points

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expanding surveillance efforts at four international airports across the country in the wake of the recent discovery of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in southern Africa.

The agency will be assisted by testing service XpresCheck at terminals in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and San Francisco International Airport, which are four of the busiest international airports in the country.

According to XpresCheck’s parent company XpresSpa Group, the updated program is an expansion of a biosurveillance program first launched in September that tested travelers arriving from India at JFK, Newark and San Francisco.

“CDC is evaluating how to make international travel as safe as possible,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 briefing Tuesday, noting that efforts include “critical partner testing closer to the time of flights and considerations around additional post-arrival testing and self-quarantine.”

“This program allows for increased COVID testing for specific international arrivals, increasing our capacity to identify those with COVID-19 on arrival to the United States and enhancing our surveillance for the Omicron variant,” she added.

The enhanced surveillance comes on the heels of the Biden administration imposing travel restrictions on eight southern African countries, including South Africa.

U.S. government officials are also considering more stringent testing requirements and could soon require everyone who enters the country to be tested the day before their flight and again after returning home, regardless of their vaccination status.

Source: TravelPulse


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