- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday that New Jersey’s airports are not yet prepared to handle the growing Ebola outbreak, but he thinks they will be soon.

During a press conference in Trenton, Christie was asked whether the state was prepared to deal with the spreading disease.

“No, we’re not ready at the airports yet. But we will be,” said Christie, assuring that authorities are working quickly to put precautions in place. He said the state’s hospitals were already “as ready as we can be.”

Newark Liberty International is one of five airports where officials will soon begin extra screening of passengers arriving from the three West African countries hardest hit by the deadly disease. The screening will include taking passengers’ temperatures.

The ramped-up precautions will begin at New York’s Kennedy airport Saturday and at Newark next week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection. The efforts come after the first man diagnosed with the disease on American soil died in Dallas this week.

Christie said he spoke with the White House on Wednesday about the efforts and was assured officials are moving as quickly as they can.

“Of course we’re concerned. But that concern is being moved into action,” he said. “I hope the federal government moves even more quickly to get Newark airport up and ready to go.”

“I feel as good as we can at the moment,” he added. “But we have work to do.”

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