A passenger on a JetBlue flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to Palm Beach, Florida, was diagnosed with the coronavirus upon landing in Florida.
Palm Beach County Fire and Rescue said the plane landed around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Health officials addressed the crew and the 114 passengers stuck on the tarmac for hours.
NBC Miami reported that the passengers were forced to remain on the plane for nearly two hours.
Passengers who sat near the coronavirus patient were given instructions on how to monitor their health over the next few days and were allowed to leave the airport without seeing a medical professional.
“He was wearing masks and gloves. His wife was sitting in the same row as me and mentioned to others that he wasn’t feeling well,” passenger Scott Rodman told WPTV.
“At this time passengers in the vicinity of the positive patient were advised of monitoring procedures,” Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said in a statement.
Airline employees are now sterilizing the “limited containment area” where the passengers disembarked in a separate area from the airport’s main terminals.
At least 127,000 patients have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, with at least 4,717 deaths reported worldwide. In the U.S., there are at least 1,323 people sickened by coronavirus and 38 deaths related to the illness.
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday night that he is halting air travel between most of Europe and the U.S. over the next 30 days in an effort to contain the virus here while other countries abroad try to contain the outbreak in their own countries.