Next week, a small airport in Iowa will be the first to implement a program to screen passengers for coronavirus symptoms before entering security.
Last month, the The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the plans created by the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids.
If proven successful in deterring sick passengers from boarding, the program could be run at America’s more than 500 airports.
It comes months after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) canceled their own program after detecting just nine cases and the US made an effort to screen all international travelers by having them take a negative test before taking it. entering country.
A first of its kind screening program will launch next week at Eastern Iowa Airport (pictured) in Cedar Rapids
Passengers will have their temperature measured by a technician from the local health care group, Mercy Medical Center, and complete a questionnaire. Pictured: Travelers are screened and their temperature checked by airline employees as they check in their luggage at Los Angeles International Airport, Nov. 24
“We are excited to get this launched,” said Marty Lenss, director of Eastern Iowa Airport The Washington Post.
‘We have been working on it for a while. We have always seen it as an extra layer in a multi-layered approach to restore passenger confidence. ‘
Currently, airlines require passengers to complete a questionnaire at check-in that they have no symptoms and that they wear a mask.
The new plan goes a step further by having a professional health screening performed.
The plan involves all passengers meeting with a screening technician from the local health care group, Mercy Medical Center, immediately before entering a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint.
They fill in a questionnaire about their health and have their temperature measured.
Lenss told The Post that screeners could determine in 15 sections whether passengers can enter the checkpoint.
If they fail the initial screening, passengers are taken to a separate area where they are remotely connected to a doctor.
In a few weeks, Lenss said this step may include a quick test.
Depending on the answers to the doctor’s questions, passengers may be advised not to travel and to visit their airline’s check-in counter.
If they fail, they will be taken to a separate room where they will be remotely connected to a doctor and advised not to travel. Pictured: A traveler receives a temperature check before checking in for a China Airlines flight at Los Angeles International Airport on December 22
The CDC recently launched a program requiring all international travelers to show a negative COVID-19 test. Pictured: Travelers waiting for their luggage at Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, Nov. 21
The airline will make the final decision as to whether or not passengers can board their flight.
The CDC initially launched a program to screen passengers between late January and early September.
However, it was shut down after just nine cases were discovered among more than 766,000 travelers.
“I’m sure we’ll learn something,” Lenss told The Post about the new program.
“We’ve never thought of this as a silver bullet in and of itself.”
The US already requires all international travelers entering the US to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country.
Passengers must have themselves tested no later than three days before their flight and present a negative result to the airline prior to boarding.
The CDC then recommends being retested three to five days after arrival and staying at one location for seven days after the trip.
Earlier this week, former President Donald Trump announced that he will lift travel restrictions for the coronavirus for Europe, the UK, Ireland and Brazil effective January 26.
However, a spokeswoman for President Joe Biden said the new government will not lift the restrictions despite the order.
“On the advice of our medical team, the administration does not plan to lift these restrictions as of January 26,” press secretary Jan Psaki wrote on Twitter.
“We even plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel to further reduce the spread of COVID-19.”