How LAX is ramping up sanitation procedures in response to new coronavirus outbreak

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles International Airport is ramping up sanitation procedures to protect employees and travelers from possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.

Those precautions include the installation of 250 hand sanitizer stations throughout the major transportation hub, with 300 more expected to be installed, as well as hourly disinfecting of "high touch" areas such as restroom doors, handrails, escalators and elevator buttons.

Other practices to "reduce the spread of germs" include sanitizing touchpads and kiosks in the customs area on an hourly basis, distributing individual bottles of hand sanitizer to the airport's administrative offices and adding signage to high-traffic areas within the terminals with information on the virus.

"LAWA is on the front lines of the fight to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus and we are doing everything in our power to make sure the environment at LAX is as safe and clean as possible for our employees and guests," said Justin Erbacci, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Los Angeles World Airports.

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The airport has also partnered with the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Customs and Border Protection and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to implement federally mandated screening of travelers with possible exposure.

In January, the CDC began enhanced screening of passengers at LAX and other U.S. airports who traveled to countries that have been identified as high-risk for exposure within 14 days of their arrival at LAX.

Public health officials on Friday announced that a second medical screener at LAX tested positive for the virus, though airport officials claimed they were not directly informed and found out through a press release.

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Officials said both positive cases were "most likely exposed by an infected traveler at the same location."

Meanwhile, individual airlines have responded to the spread of the new coronavirus and have also stepped up their procedures for cleaning planes.

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