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MSP Airport to start screening international travelers for coronavirus

Federal officials expanded screening locations on Tuesday.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is among 15 additional airports that will start screening international travelers for coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control had previously only launched screenings at 5 airports following the outbreak of the respiratory virus in China, namely New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

But that has now been expanded to 20 airports including MSP.

The CDC has said it will be aiming to identify any unwell travelers returning from China, who may have then taken a connecting flight to end up in the Twin Cities.

MSP doesn't have any direct flights to China, however Delta does have direct routes to Tokyo, Japan, and Seoul, South Korea, and MSP is also one of Delta's major hubs for connections to and from scores of domestic airports.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar however has said that Americans at this point "should not worry for their own safety."

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The death toll linked to the coronavirus has now passed 130 in China. Thus far, only five cases have been confirmed in the U.S., all from people returning from the Wuhan region, where it initially broke out.

Two suspected cases of coronavirus in Minnesota was sent to the CDC last week, but it's since emerged that these cases were negative.

The Star Tribune notes that MSP Airport has a CDC quarantine station, at which medical staff can detain those at risk of carrying a serious infectious disease.

The newspaper notes these people can then either be denied entry to the U.S. or isolated in hospitals or their homes to prevent spread.

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