People arriving at one of the 13 major airports in the U.S. are having to wait up to seven hours to get screened for COVID-19. Screening involves being asked a few questions and getting one's temperature taken.
Travelers are interviewed by a Customs officer, who also reviews the person's travel history using a Homeland Security database, according to the New York Times. If they don't show symptoms, they are asked to self-quarantine in their homes for 14 days. However, travelers showing symptoms could be subject to an additional screening by a medical professional at the airport, and even a federal quarantine.
The major airports include: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Miami, New York (John F Kennedy), Newark, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC (Dulles).
Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois tweeted to President Donald Trump asking for guidance regarding the long lines at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. He says the situation is "unacceptable."
The crowds & lines O'Hare are unacceptable & need to be addressed immediately.@realDonaldTrump @VP since this is the only communication medium you pay attention to—you need to do something NOW.— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) March 15, 2020
These crowds are waiting to get through customs which is under federal jurisdiction
The airport tweeted that it is giving out food and water to travelers:
Chicago Department of Aviation staff is working hard to distribute snacks and bottled water to international arriving travelers waiting in longer-than-usual customs processing lines. Thank you for your patience. pic.twitter.com/982IaBeYCO— O'Hare Intl. Airport (@fly2ohare) March 15, 2020
Many people are nervous that the massive crowds they're being forced into at these airports will lead to greater exposure to COVID-19. During an unprecedented occurrence like this, however, there aren't many solutions to the overcrowded airports. However, Gov. Pritzker says he is reaching out to the mayor in Illinois and senators to try to get more help at O'Hare.
Click here for a closer look at how massive the gatherings of people are in Chicago's major airport:
Right now at O'Hare airport in Chicago:— Terrence Daniels (Captain Planet) (@Terrence_STR) March 15, 2020
Thousands of people are waiting for hours due to "enhanced #CoronaVirus screening" procedures...
This is not good, Trump has literally created a perfect storm to transmit #COVID19. Don't even know where to start with this one.#Chicago pic.twitter.com/fOUQZfqxX7
Trump tweeted that he's tuning in to Jentezen Franklin's service today, March 15, which he also declared a "National Day of Prayer."
Tomorrow I have called for a National Day of Prayer. I will be tuning in to Pastor @Jentezen at the @FreeChapel Church in Gainesville, Georgia at 11:00 AM EDT. God Bless the USA! https://t.co/mWYWOGJ1ye https://t.co/EWcHzEjFLH— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2020
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