The virus, which originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has caused an outbreak of respiratory illness.
“Based on the U.S. Department of State’s recent increase of the China Travel Advisory to a Level 4 (Do Not Travel), American is suspending its operations to and from the Chinese mainland beginning today through March 27,” the news release from American Airlines reads. “Our teams are contacting affected customers directly to accommodate their needs.”
Delta has also decided to suspend all flights from the U.S. to China from Feb. 6-April 30.
“Between now and Feb. 5, Delta will continue to operate flights to ensure customers looking to exit China have options to do so,” a statement from Delta reads. “The last China-bound flight departing the U.S. will leave on Monday, Feb. 3 with the last return flight back to the U.S. departing China on Feb. 5.”
Customers whose travel plans are affected can go to the Delta website to assess their options. This may mean changing plans, requesting a refund and/or speaking with a company representative directly.
Both airlines stated they will continue to evaluate the situation and make adjustments as needed.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has also been affected by this outbreak. DFW Airport recently announced that it is among 20 U.S. airports chosen by the CDC to monitor for illness in travelers arriving from China.
“A team of public health professionals from the CDC will execute the monitoring program as soon as their team is in place,” a Jan. 28 news release from DFW Airport reads.
The CDC has advised travelers to avoid unnecessary trips to China. People can also take preventive action, such as washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; covering coughs and sneezes; and disinfecting frequently touched items and surfaces.
More information about coronavirus and its transmission and presence in the U.S. can be found here.