TF Green officials taking coronavirus outbreak seriously

Health

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) ─ As China struggles to contain the outbreak of a potentially deadly virus, officials at T.F. Green International Airport say they’re monitoring the situation closely.

A 60-year-old woman from Chicago was the second in the United States to be diagnosed with coronavirus after returning from Wuhan, China, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The first confirmed case was reported earlier this week in Washington.

The CDC reports there are currently 63 cases being monitored across 22 states, prompting airports to take precautions to keep travelers safe.

While T.F. Green does not offer any direct flights to or from China, they do offer flights to and from Chicago daily.

“Obviously this is a serious problem, but realistically, if you stayed home from everything that’s bad, you’d never leave home,” Bill Moscarelli said, who is flying to Chicago.

The pneumonia-like virus has killed at least 26 people in China over the past few weeks, forcing the country to put millions of people on lockdown.

Currently, there are no health screenings occurring at T.F. Green, but airport spokesman John Goodman says they are ready.

“Anytime they feel there is a concern, we will jump into action,” Goodman said. “Right now, the CDC is only recommending screening for passengers traveling directly from China. The safety of our passengers is our number one concern.”

Moscarelli tells Eyewitness News that it is comforting knowing the airport he is headed to is taking the proper precautions as well.

“I think it’s a terrific way of going after it, I don’t think there’s any better way of determining it and the center should be commended for it,” he said.

Goodman said the airport is in contact with the CDC for instructions on any precautionary measures they will need to take moving forward.

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