J&J Import Export

TitleJ&J Import Export
ProductsUsed monitor, computer scrap
Company typeAgent
Phone1 781 324-4171
Address10P Roessler Road, ; Woburn, Massachusetts, United States
CountryUnited States
ProductsUsed monitor, computer scrap
Num of employeesLess than 5 People
Establish year2005

U.S. airports will aid effort to monitor omicron variant

Wed, 01 Dec 2021 22:51:00

The effort by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is among the latest this week to address the threat of a variant that has caused global alarm, with the first U.S. case confirmed Wednesday in California.

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“CDC continues to use innovative methods to understand and respond to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, and this project is one example of our ongoing pandemic response efforts to make travel safer,” the agency said in a statement.

International arrivals already are required to show proof of a negative virus test before boarding U.S.-bound flights, but CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said during a White House briefing Tuesday that the screening program at four of the nation’s busiest airports will provide additional data that can aid in the agency’s monitoring efforts.

“This program allows for increased covid testing for specific international arrivals, increasing our capacity to identify those with covid-19 on arrival to the United States and enhancing our surveillance for the omicron variant,” she said.

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The program at the four U.S. airports is being administered by XpresSpa Group and Ginkgo Bioworks.

Federal officials are also said to be weighing stricter testing requirements for all travelers to the United States, including Americans, that would require all international arrivals to be tested one day before their flights. Currently, those who have been fully vaccinated can take tests within three days of their departure. Administration officials are also said to be considering requiring that all travelers be tested within three to five days after their arrival in the United States.

On Dec. 1, top infectious-disease expert Anthony S. Fauci said the first case of the omicron coronavirus variant had been detected in California. (The Washington Post)

Last week, amid concerns about the new variant, the Biden administration moved to restrict travel from South Africa and seven other countries beginning Monday. Officials from the European Union, Britain, Japan and Israel announced similar steps.

Under the new rules, visitors from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi are barred from traveling to the United States. American citizens and lawful permanent residents are exempted.

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Doug Satzman, chief executive of XpresSpa Group, said the airport testing program is an expansion of a $2 million pilot program that began at three airports in August — JFK, Newark and San Francisco — focused on travelers arriving from India.

After those passengers cleared customs, they were given the option of taking a self-administered PCR test. The samples were pooled, meaning several passenger samples were combined and tested as a group — an approach Satzman said enabled large-scale testing. Volunteers also were given a take-home test to be completed three to five days after arrival, then mailed to a lab. Satzman could not say how many travelers opted to take the tests, but that results gathered during the program provided enough information to be useful in monitoring efforts.

He said the latest effort will focus on travelers arriving from the African nations.

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Two U.S. carriers, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, operate flights between the United States and South Africa. Delta operates service between Johannesburg and Atlanta three times weekly, while United currently operates five flights each week between Newark and Johannesburg. United also restarted service Wednesday between Newark and Cape Town.

Both carriers said they continue to monitor the situation, but there were no plans to adjust service.

“Throughout the pandemic we’ve maintained service to places like Australia, Europe and South America and United remains committed to maintaining a safe and vital link for repatriation efforts as well as the transport of essential supplies like vaccines between Africa and the U.S.,” the airline said in a statement.