Lake Charles Regional Airport: ‘Low risk of coronavirus through LCH’

Updated: Feb. 21, 2020 at 9:31 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - As of Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said more than a dozen cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S. With concerns surrounding air travel, the airport’s Executive Director Heath Allen is reassuring travelers they take cleanliness very seriously.

“We have not heard any concerns here at this airport, but it’s certainly on everyone’s minds that are getting onto aircraft and certainly traveling internationally, I think it’s on everyone’s minds," Allen said.

There is no vaccine to prevent the disease, but the CDC recommends several precautionary measures to avoid Coronavirus. Those include: avoiding close contact with people who are sick and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

However, the CDC says they do not recommend wearing a face mask if you’re healthy. They say face masks are only for people who are sick or for health care providers.

“We always maintain a very clean facility, that’s pretty much day in and day out," Allen said. “I think that’s just good practice for any airport. But also, we post any notifications we receive. Whether that’s as they go through checkpoints and that sort of thing. Mainly we just try to get passengers to be aware of what’s going on and what they can do to protect themselves.”

At this point, there are 11 airports across the country where travelers are being redirected if they’ve been to China in the past two weeks. Even with one of those being in Texas, Allen said there’s a low risk of the disease coming through LCH.

“One of the 11 airports that is serving as the initial, or I guess, the screening point for travelers coming back into the United States is Dallas-Fort Worth. Of course, we have a direct flight there, but at that point, we have to rely on the CDC screening station to do what it’s set up for," Allen said.

Allen said the airport is monitoring any updates and directions from the CDC.

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