What to Know About Coronavirus Preparedness in New England

Test results for two possible cases in New Hampshire came back negative

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From negative test results in New Hampshire to precautions taken at Boston Logan International Airport, health officials in New England are bracing for the deadly coronavirus that has sparked concern worldwide.

No cases of the virus have yet been confirmed, but officials say they are taking measures to prevent its spread in New England.

Concern is growing internationally. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global emergency Friday, and the U.S. Department of State advised against all travel to China.

With a human-to-human transmission of coronavirus confirmed in Chicago, health officials across the U.S. and around the world are on high alert.

Here's what we know about possible cases of the coronavirus and preparedness efforts across the region:

Negative test results in NH

Two people in New Hampshire showing symptoms of the disease were cleared by the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) following a scare earlier in the week, as tests came back negative on Thursday morning.

Additional health screenings are underway for coronavirus at Boston's Logan Airport after a passenger was thought to have the illness on Wednesday.

The two people from New Hampshire recently traveled to Wuhan, China, health officials announced Monday, and sought treatment after developing respiratory symptoms, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

"Both of the individuals are recovering or are fully recovered and are doing well, I am happy to say," New Hampshire Epidemiologist Benjamin Chan said Thursday.

State health officials say that two people in New Hampshire traveled to China, and fell in upon return.

One of the people has been identified as a student from White Mountain School in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, according to Littleton Regional Healthcare.

"We are most appreciative of our student for taking precautionary and immediate steps upon recognizing and reporting cold-like symptoms, steps this student and the student's family took out of concern for our students and the broader community," the school said in a statement.

Preparedness at Logan

A passenger entering the country on a flight from China on Wednesday was screened for the virus by Boston EMS upon landing at Logan but ultimately cleared after failing to meet the criteria for the virus.

Paramedics were called to Terminal E, where a sick passenger was reported, according to Massport, which runs the airport. But Boston EMS said the passenger was evaluated and not taken to the hospital — they did not have symptoms consistent with coronavirus.

Airport officials and passengers are on high alert after a sick passenger came in from China. That passenger was determined not to have coronavirus.

The CDC said this week it was expanding its checks of international travelers around the country, including at Boston's Logan International Airport.

Dozens of people wore masks as they walked into Terminal E.

"People are reacting to it and trying to protect their own health and their family's health," said Michelle Sun, who flew from Shanghai to Boston.

"I had to come back earlier because I was afraid they might shut down the flight," said Fan Wu, who also traveled from Shanghai.

The stations are staffed with medical and public health officers from the CDC and managed by CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.

Schools cancel exchange programs

Schools across the region are cancelling their exchange programs with China, including the University of Rhode Island.

Middlebury College in Vermont has suspended its study abroad programs in China, where it has three sites. Benjy Renton, a Middlebury student currently stuck in China, said that he's been washing his hands repeatedly while he awaits to return home.

"We've been wearing a mask," Renton said, adding that he feels safe and that the chances of students contracting the disease are low.

A sick passenger on a flight from China landing at Boston Logan did not turn out to have coronavirus, but schools around the area are taking precautions with study abroad programs amid the outbreak.

Earlier this week, a student at Wesleyan College in Connecticut was tested for the Coronavirus before ultimately testing negative.

Students in high school have been affected by the outbreak as well. Ezra Korn-Meyer, a student at Brookline High School, is currently in limbo as he awaits word on whether or not he'll be permitted to travel to China as part of an exchange program.

"I want to feel like I can blame somebody, or it's somebody's fault, but I understand it's not," Korn-Meyer said. "Nobody wants this, it's not ideal."

Korn-Meyer's family is currently hosting a student from China.

Exchange programs at Newton North and Norton High Schools are also on hold.

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