Coronavirus screenings continue at SFO despite slow spread of disease in U.S.
SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. count of confirmed coronavirus cases now stands at 11, including the two cases moved from another county to San Francisco, where communicable disease control is highly developed. We've also learned that San Benito County has sent two patients out of that county.
Nationally, anyone showing symptoms at airports or other checkpoints will be put into quarantine.
"It's very important that we not rule things out at this stage. And, that's why we need to keep taking prudent measures to protect the American public," said U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
New rules went into effect at San Francisco International Airport on Sunday.
"What changed starting yesterday was an expansion of screening to anyone who has been in mainland China in the last two weeks," said SFO spokesman Doug Yakel.
U.S. citizens who've been to the infected region in China within the last two weeks will be allowed re-entry, but must self-monitor for symptoms. Foreigners coming anywhere from China in the last 14 days will not be admitted.
While it's true that the use of face masks is up a bit here at SFO, the truth is, it's up only very, very slightly and that gives the sense that there's real no panic here about the coronavirus. Already, almost half of all all flights to and from China have been eliminated for now.
All of this has increasingly incensed the Chinese government as more governments move to restrict business and tourist visitors worldwide.
"Taking excessive travel restriction measures may lead some countries affected by the virus, to stop voluntarily reporting information out of fear of being impacted by potential restrictions," said Chinese UN Ambassador Li Song.
Fear of coronavirus has led to the cancellation of some Lunar New Years celebrations in the U.S.
"There's no need to cast aspersions on an entire community because this is happening,: state Senator John Liu/(D) NY.
But, San Francisco's upcoming Chinese New Years Parade is on, rain or shine.
Parade spokesman William Gee sent out a statement saying, "We want to make sure that we're sending the correct message in that the epicenter is in China and not Chinese events, especially in areas where there is an established health care system that have protocols in place to manage such incidents."
Though caution rules, consider that there are 330 million Americans and only 11 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far.