LAX introduces thermal screening to check passengers for coronavirus symptoms 

Thermal camera technology is being tested at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal to help identify travelers with an elevated body temperature. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports

TRAVELERS at Los Angeles International Airport will be asked to undergo another screening before getting to the security checkpoint to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Starting on Tuesday, June 23, thermal cameras will be deployed at two locations inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal — at the main entrance on the departures level and inside the terminal near select international arrivals — with both arriving and departing passengers screened.

The cameras are designed to rapidly identify people with body temperatures of 100.4 degrees or more, which is the current guideline for detecting a fever set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“A world-class airport isn’t defined just by our historic investments in a reimagined LAX and an improved traveling experience — it’s also about world-class safety,” said Mayor Garcetti on Monday. “This project reflects the best of this city’s innovative spirit, and it will help keep travelers healthy and set a new industry standard.”

The voluntary program, which is being tested in the international terminal first, will have signage alerting passengers where this trial will take place.

If a voluntary participant is identified as having an elevated body temperature, a medical professional near the camera operator will approach the identified person and request a secondary screening using a handheld, non-contact thermometer, according to the airport.

The cameras are designed to rapidly identify people with body temperatures of 100.4 degrees or more. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports

Departing guests who are identified as having an elevated body temperature will be advised that they should not travel. Passengers on arriving international flights identified as being potentially ill may be referred to CDC staff on site.

These thermal camera temperature checks will not replace other safety measures in place. To protect guest privacy, the cameras will not store, transmit, or share any data or images taken. Guests who decline to participate will have the opportunity to use a different pathway.

The airport will work closely with multiple partners to evaluate the technology including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), airlines, CDC, and LA County Department of Public Health, and results from this program will be shared with these partners and leading airports around the world in an effort to set new standards for the industry.

In addition to the cameras, the airport added signage directing guests to practice social distancing, wear a face covering at all times, and wash their hands frequently.

LAX has increased deep cleaning throughout the airport focusing on “high touch” areas, and has installed more than 250 hand sanitizer stations. Shops and restaurants are also offering contact-free experiences.

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