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CDC Steps Up Screening For Omicron Variant At Area Airports

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took action Wednesday, amid concern over the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Detection efforts were expanded at four of the nation's busiest international airports, including two in our area.

The four affected airports are John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta.

The U.S. imposed new restrictions on travel from eight southern African countries late last week.

The CDC director said the agency is working with the company XpresCheck to conduct testing at airports.

"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," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.


The World Heath Organization advises that people 60 and older who are not vaccinated or have not previously had COVID postpone travel.

President Joe Biden is expected to further outline the nation's plans to control the pandemic in a speech Thursday.

Meanwhile, Brazil, France and Japan have joined the rapidly expanding list of countries to report cases of the Omicron variant.

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