The founder of the World Tourism Network is calling for an immediate stop for flights from and to California. The new, potentially more contagious variant of the coronavirus first identified in the United Kingdom has been found in California, Governor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.
Another case was reported in Colorado. Both patients had no history of travel indicating the virus may be spreading in the communities.
The virus in the UK prompted the European Union, the Gulf countries, Russia, and many more to isolate Britain, stopping all traffic to and from the United Kingdom.
In the United States, people are still flying in and out of California in record numbers. New Year’s travel is higher than expected, putting the rest of the US in danger. Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco remain as major airline hubs for international flights from all over the world.
Hospitals in Los Angeles County are overwhelmed and report chaotic scenes.
New York and Hawaii are trying to protect their states in making a negative test mandatory when arriving, but with the number of flights from Southern California operating, the situation will also put New York and Hawaii in danger.
The California Governor did not specify where in the state the variant was identified, but San Diego County officials announced later in the day that they had confirmed the strain in a 30-year-old man who tested positive there after developing symptoms on Sunday.
Officials said the man had “no travel history.” As a result, “we believe this is not an isolated case in San Diego County,” Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said adding that officials believe this case is no longer isolated.