(PALM BEACH, Fla.) — A passenger on a flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City to Palm Beach, Florida, has been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
The plane landed around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. The crew and 114 passengers were stuck on the tarmac for hours as health officials spoke to everyone on board.
Passengers who were near the COVID-19 positive patient were given instructions on monitoring their health over the next few days. They were allowed to leave the airport without seeing a doctor.
“At this time passengers in the vicinity of the positive patient were advised of monitoring procedures,” Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said in a statement. “The rest of the passengers were released to go home,” and given directions to call the health department with any medical concerns.
Airline workers are now sterilizing the “limited containment area” where the passengers deplaned, which officials said is a separate area from the airport’s main terminals.
At least 127,000 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus globally with at least 4,717 deaths reported. In the U.S., there are at least 1,323 confirmed cases and 38 coronavirus-related deaths.
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday night that he was severely restricting air travel for 30 days from most of Europe as Italy and other countries battle to contain the outbreak. The new regulations begin Friday.
The European Union issued a statement Thursday, saying Trump’s Europe travel ban is wrong and won’t work.
“The coronavirus is a global crisis not limited to any continent and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action,” the E.U. said in a statement Thursday. “The European Union disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation. The European Union is taking strong action to limit the spread of the virus.”
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