Today we learned from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health that a passenger who arrived at LAX tested positive for COVID-19. You can read their press release on the traveler here.
This passenger was identified by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as having been in Iran within the last 14 days and thus was screened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) per current protocols. It was during this screening that the CDC determined the passenger was symptomatic. At that point, the passenger was transported according to CDC, CBP and Los Angeles Fire Department’s procedures for transport of a suspected COVID-19 patient, away from the general public and LAX employees. The path of travel to and from the pickup area utilized by LAFD to meet the patient and bring them back to the ambulance was secure, had restricted access and was not an area used by the public or general staff.
As I have shared in the past, we are working closely with CDC and County Health to ensure that we are creating the safest environment possible for all of you, including keeping travelers identified for transport to a medical facility or quarantine location away from the general public. All agencies – CDC, CBP and LAFD – that may have direct and prolonged contact with symptomatic individuals are using best practices in personal protective equipment (PPE). If a person tests positive for COVID-19, CDC and/or County Health retrace their steps to determine if anyone without PPE came into close and prolonged contact with that person. Close and prolonged contact means being within six feet of a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 and for at least 10 minutes. The public health agencies directly contact anyone that they believe came into such close and prolonged contact with a positive person.
We also participated in two important multi-agency calls today to get up to date information and to coordinate better emergency planning. In a meeting sponsored by County Health, we got confirmation that we continue to use the recommended protections for passengers and employees. In a meeting with all City Departments, we exchanged information regarding how we can better prepare and coordinate as a City to protect against the further spread of COVID-19 and to deal with the potential impacts of more people contracting the virus.
As new information becomes available to us regarding any possible cases of coronavirus at LAX, as we receive any new guidelines for reducing the spread of germs or when we implement any new procedures, I will share that information with all of you. Thank you again for all that you are doing to reduce the spread of germs.
Interim CEO, LAWA
PS: We have created an easy to download and print sign for your offices and conference rooms, declaring them “Handshake-Free Zones.” Please post this sign in your work areas and refrain from touching others. The poster can be found HERE.