(JUNEAU, Alaska) – Routine air cargo operations at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) are continuing with precautions in place to protect Alaskans and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
All passenger and cargo flights to the U.S. from Wuhan, China, where the novel coronavirus was first detected, continue to be suspended indefinitely.
There are no reported cases of 2019-nCoV in Alaska. The State of Alaska is continuing to monitor this situation and is coordinating with federal, Tribal and local partners to detect potential cases as quickly as possible to prevent the spread of this illness to Alaska.
As one of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 20 national quarantine stations, ANC’s North Terminal supported the first repatriation mission from Wuhan, China Jan. 28. There have been no further requests for Alaska to participate in additional repatriation missions.
Following the repatriation flight, the areas used in the North Terminal were restricted to a small number of authorized personnel who wore appropriate protective equipment according to CDC guidelines. The airport is thoroughly cleaning the area following established guidelines.
“The airport, along with our state and local partners, is closely monitoring the novel coronavirus situation and following the guidance of our federal partners. We are committed to providing updates to the community, our customers, and our media partners if any circumstances should change,” said Airport Manager Jim Szczesniak.
Cargo flights to ANC from Chinese cities other than Wuhan are continuing to occur, and crew members of cargo flights arriving from mainland China are excluded from the Presidential Proclamation, which suspends entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants who have visited mainland China in the past 14 days. In Alaska, cargo flights from China are only landing at ANC. This exemption is intended to prevent the interruption of cargo traffic while providing guidance measures to safeguard the health of both the crew and the general public.
All incoming cargo crew are advised to strictly adhere to the interim health guidance issued on Feb. 2 by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Flight crew on cargo flights from destinations in China undergo an initial health screening by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at the ANC’s North Terminal. Anyone who is experiencing signs or symptoms of respiratory illness will undergo further health screening by CDC Quarantine Station staff, with subsequent notification of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), as appropriate.
No scheduled passenger flights from China are currently landing in Alaska. All passenger flights from China are being funneled to 11 airports in the Lower 48 designated as special CDC screening stations to help detect potential cases of novel coronavirus. It is possible that healthy travelers who have been in China in the last 14 days might then come to Alaska if they are showing no symptoms at the time of screening.
In those situations, the following guidance protocols from the CDC will help ensure these healthy travelers continue to be monitored in the event that symptoms develop later:
Before Feb. 3: Travelers from anywhere in China, including Hubei Province, who arrived in the United States before Feb. 3, 2020, are advised to self-monitor for fever and respiratory illness. If one of these travelers were to develop symptoms within 14 days of arriving in the United States, they should avoid contact with others, call their health care provider, and the DHSS Section of Epidemiology at 907-269-8000 or 800-478-0084 (after hours) to describe their symptoms and recent travel history.
On or after Feb. 3: As of Feb. 3, 2020, travelers returning from Hubei Province, China, will be subject to a 14-day quarantine period near a United States airport of entry. Travelers from all other areas of China are asked to self-monitor in their homes for fever and respiratory illness for 14 days after arriving in the United States, and to call their health care provider and the DHSS Section of Epidemiology if symptoms develop.
Finally, Alaskans should know that letters and packages received from China are not considered a health risk according to the CDC. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of 2019-nCoV associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of 2019-nCoV in the United States associated with imported goods. Information will be provided on the CDC’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus website as it becomes available.
ANC will send out notices if there is any new information or if circumstances change. To receive notices from ANC, sign up at https://bit.ly/3bjPQnG, and select Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
DHSS will notify the media and post on social media with important updates. For the latest information from Alaska, visit coronavirus.alaska.gov and check cdc.gov for national updates. To sign up for DHSS press releases and newsletters, visit here.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 239 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
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