Locals returning from abroad left with questions

Published: Mar. 16, 2020 at 5:05 PM EDT
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Airports are full of people trying to return home before flights are grounded due to the growing spread of COVID-19. Our Kelly O'Brien spoke to someone who just got back from traveling overseas about what was their experience was like.

Dave Andrews had to cut his international trip short, fearing he could be barred from getting back into the country. He said the trip home was a bit chaotic and now he is full of questions about his health.

Andrews is currently under a voluntary self-quarantine but agreed to chat with us over Facetime about his experience traveling back to the U.S. in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was in Spain this time last week but ended his trip early as the spread of the virus in the U.S. got worse.

"Things had started to evolve but hadn't yet," Andrews said.

Andrews left Spain on Friday morning. He had a layover in Paris.

"Almost silent. It was very, very quiet," he said.

He then flew to the Montreal airport.

"The plane got in at 10 o'clock and it took an hour and a half to get through customs," Andrews said.

Andrews said he saw some people in masks but not as many as he thought would be wearing them. He chose to wear one.

Upon his return, he was questioned about his health-- whether he had any symptoms like fever or a cough and whether he was in any large groups while abroad.

After he left the airport, he headed home for the border, where agents didn't administer testing but did ask more questions than usual, also about his health and where he traveled from.

"He said, 'I'm not going to stop you from going home but you should probably get tested by the health department.' And when I spoke to the health department, they said unless you have the symptoms, unless you have the symptoms of the coronavirus, we're not going to test you," Andrews said.

The Clinton County Health Department says they are following the New York State Health Department guidelines when it comes to testing for COVID-19. Testing is only administered to people who have come in contact with a confirmed case of the virus, traveled to a country the CDC has warranted testing for, people showing symptoms or on a case by case basis where facts and circumstances warrant a test by health officials.

"The health department is going to call me every day just to check and they asked me to take my temperature," Andrews said.

As of right now, Andrews says he is not worried about showing symptoms of the coronavirus because he didn't come in contact with a lot of people while overseas and there were no cases in the southern part of Spain while he was there. He says he feels fine but will continue to monitor his symptoms and stay quarantined for the two weeks.

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