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SAN DIEGO – With coronavirus cases spreading in California, authorities are taking modest precautions to protect travelers from infection at San Diego International Airport.

Steve Pruitt flew into the San Diego from Midland, Texas, Wednesday with his family to see his son graduate from Marine Corps boot camp.

“Interesting to see the panic that (the coronavirus) caused, and to me it just seems an overreaction,” he said. “When I flew from New York To Houston about a 3rd of the people were wearing masks.”

Public health officials say that wearing masks is not necessary or even effective in protecting travelers from the virus. Very few people are wearing them at the San Diego airport. But the Airport Authority has installed many more hand sanitizer dispensers. And the airport janitorial staff is spraying disinfectant and cleaning high touch areas more frequently.

Another passenger, Eilene Pritcher, told FOX 5 that there were two people wearing masks on her flight from Arizona, “you always think about it, but I’m not going to be scared off,” Pritcher said.”However my plane was half full.”

In San Diego, there are no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection. Officials say 418 people have been screened for the virus and 88 remain under observation.

Even so, many large gatherings are being canceled as a precaution.  Pruitt told FOX 5  the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Midland just canceled its annual conference over fears of coronavirus,

“The fear is hurting the economy, because people are not getting out,” Pruitt said. They’re not traveling. They’re not spending.”