PIA says ‘no need’ for more health screenings at airport amid coronavirus scare

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PEORIA, Ill. — The Peoria International Airport (PIA) has issued a statement regarding the rising concern over the coronavirus, saying there is no need for additional health screenings at the airport.

Director of Airports at PIA Gene Olson said public health officials have not notified the airport of any travelers showing signs of the coronavirus traveling beyond Chicago or Atlanta to PIA. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also has characterized the risk for persons in the US as “low.”

Read the full statement below:

A recent outbreak of a pneumonia-like viral infection in China has resulted in increased monitoring in the United States of passengers arriving from China. Currently, passengers arriving from China are screened for symptoms of the disease at five US international gateway airports, and all passengers from affected regions in China are being re-routed to those five airports. The General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport (PIA) has flights to Chicago’s O’Hare and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airports, which are two of the five airports currently included in the monitoring program.

According to public health official guidance, if a passenger exhibits symptoms of the coronavirus infection upon arrival in the United States, they will be examined more closely and tested for the virus at the gateway airport before being allowed to travel further. As with other similar outbreaks, public health officials have a process in place to warn airport officials at downstream connecting airports and trace any persons with whom the infected traveler may have come in contact. With this system in place, there is no need for additional health screening at PIA.

As of this time, there have been no notifications by public health officials of any travelers showing signs of coronavirus infections traveling beyond Chicago or Atlanta to PIA. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has indicated that only two persons in the US have confirmed cases of coronavirus. The CDC has further characterized the risk for persons in the US as low.

Gene Olson, PIA

Earlier Friday, it was confirmed a woman in her 60s was diagnosed with the virus in Chicago after returning from China. She came in through O’Hare International Airport and is the second confirmed coronavirus case in the United States.

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COVID-19 IN CENTRAL ILLINOIS

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