Planes carrying American coronavirus evacuees from China land at California military base

By | February 5, 2020

Two planes carrying American coronavirus evacuees from Wuhan, China — the epicenter of the deadly outbreak — have landed at Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, Calif., according to local reports.

The flights, which were chartered by the U.S. Department of State, are carrying 350 Americans, KNTV reports. Passengers on one of the flights will stay at the military base in quarantine for 14 days, while passengers on the second flight will reportedly continue on to Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego after their aircraft refuels. Those passengers will also be subject to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

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The planes landed early Wednesday morning in California.

The planes landed early Wednesday morning in California.

All evacuees were screened in Wuhan for symptoms of the virus — which have been reported to include fever, shortness of breath and cough — before departing for the U.S.

The evacuees staying in quarantine at Travis Air Force Base will be housed at a lodging facility on the base, officials with the military base said previously on Facebook.

“A safety cordon will be established, away from residential housing, to ensure the Travis mission can safely continue, the privacy of the evacuees can be enforced, and to protect the health and welfare of our Team Travis community. [Health and Human Services] will be responsible for all care, transportation, and security of the evacuees during the quarantine period,” the statement reads in part.

The flights come roughly a week after the first 195 American evacuees from Wuhan also arrived in California. They are under a 14-day quarantine at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County.

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“Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser issued the order requiring the person to stay for the entire incubation period unless otherwise cleared,” a news release from the Riverside County Health Department said at the time. “This action was taken as a result of the unknown risk to the public should someone leave MARB early without undergoing a full health evaluation.”

The first flight briefly stopping to refuel in Alaska before heading to California. The plane was initially scheduled to arrive at Ontario International Airport in San Bernardino County before it was diverted to the airbase in Riverside County for “the logistics that they have,” officials said.

On Tuesday, health officials announced a child who was one of the original 195 evacuees developed a fever and was taken to the hospital for additional coronavirus testing. The minor, whose age was not released, is at the Riverside University Health System-Medical Center for testing and observation “out of an abundance of caution,” and was accompanied by a parent, according to a news release.

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It’s possible more flights carrying American evacuees from Wuhan could arrive in the U.S. in the coming days. The State Department said on Twitter it “may be staging evacuation flights” for U.S. citizens on Thursday. Any U.S. citizens who are evacuated are expected to reimburse the federal executive department for the flight.

The death toll from coronavirus reached 490 on Wednesday. More than 24,000 people have been infected worldwide. Overall, at least 25 countries have reported cases of coronavirus. Currently, the U.S. has confirmed 11 cases — six in California, one in Arizona, one in Washington state, one in Massachusetts and two in Illinois. No deaths have been reported in the U.S., and the large majority of cases still remain in China.

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Fox News’ Alexandria Hein contributed to this report. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 


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