DHS: More airports to accept flights from China amid coronavirus outbreak

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- As the U.S. steps up its response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Department of Homeland Security is issuing new restrictions on inbound flights from China.

People wear face masks as they walk through the terminal at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport as they prepare to board an evacuation flight for EU nationals in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province, late Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. China's death toll from a new virus has increased to 304 with more than 14,000 cases, amid warnings from the World Health Organization that other countries need to be prepared in the event the disease spreads among their populations. (AP Photo/Arek Rataj)

Under the new rules, U.S citizens who have traveled in China within the last 14 days will be re-routed to one of 11 designated airports, where they will undergo enhanced health screening procedures.

The list of airports can be found below:

John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York
Chicago O’Hare International Airport
San Francisco International Airport
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu
Los Angeles International Airport in California
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Washington-Dulles International Airport in Virginia
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan

Gray DC sat down with Homeland Security Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli to talk about the travel restrictions.

Cuccinelli says the airports that were chosen already see the vast majority of travelers from China. He says there will be medical staff on scene, who will determine whether or not a traveler should be sent to the CDC for further evaluation.

In the most severe case, Cuccinelli says a traveler could be put in a two-week quarantine.

"There are bourdons on these airports," he said. "The extent of the medical screening there is not typically how we function."

As for the local impact, Cuccinelli says both airlines and passengers have had to reroute or rebook flights. In some cases, he says, National Guard members have also been brought in to assist.

"The goal is to keep this from spreading," he said. "The risk in the U.S is low right now and we want to keep it that way."

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