Tags: Coronavirus | Health Topics | Travel | Cold/Flu | cdc | airports | screening

CDC Report: Airport COVID Screenings 'Ineffective,' 'Resource-Intensive'

airport service workers and masked passengers wait in security lines at atlanta's airport
(Mark Ralston/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 23 November 2020 05:46 PM

A program to screen prospective passengers at airports for the coronavirus was "ineffective" and "resource-intensive," according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report journal.

Airports began screening passengers in January, with 766,044 passengers screened at 15 different airports between January and September, with only one case per 85,000 travelers being detected.

"The low case detection rate of this resource-intensive program highlighted the need for fundamental change in the U.S. border health strategy," the report states, adding "symptom-based screening programs are ineffective" because the virus can be spread by asymptomatic carriers.

The report also notes, although the cost of the program has not been disclosed, the CDC transferred around $57 million to the Department of Homeland Security to help fund the screening program, which at its peak in March involved about 750 screeners, along with additional support personnel, as well as equipment, travel, and housing costs for travelers who were forced to quarantine.

"These findings demonstrate that temperature and symptom screening at airports detected few COVID-19 cases and required considerable resources," the report read.

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A program to screen prospective passengers at airports for the coronavirus was "ineffective" and "resource-intensive," according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report journal.
cdc, airports, screening, program, security, temperature checks, testing, pandemic, covid-19
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2020-46-23
Monday, 23 November 2020 05:46 PM
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