Coronavirus outbreak: Additional China evacuees land in California

FAIRFIELD, Calif. (KABC) -- Amid a widening coronavirus outbreak in China, two more chartered flights with American evacuees left Wuhan and landed in California.

The two flights, carrying about 350 passengers, landed at Travis Air Force base in the Sacramento area on Wednesday morning.

One of the flights will refuel at Travis and then head for Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego.

On Wednesday afternoon, Riverside County health officials said a child who became ill at March Air Reserve Base was not infected with the coronavirus, and was at a hospital being treated for a fever.

Officials said the child is part of a group of 195 passengers who were flown to the reserve base from China last week and placed under a 14-day federal quarantine.

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Both Travis and Miramar have been preparing to house evacuees separate from other base personnel during a 14-day quarantine.

Miramar's commanding officer sent a letter to base personnel and families preparing them for "minor changes to daily life around the base" related to quarantining the evacuees.

"Repatriates will be confined throughout quarantine and there will be no contact with DOD personnel," the letter stated. "I cannot give you a timeframe for completion, but what I know is that the quarantine duration is 14 days. Finally, you should know that any person exhibiting symptoms during the quarantine period will be transferred off-station for care.''

The evacuees will be screened by Center for Disease Control medical personnel upon arrival and moved to a quarantine site on the base, where they will reside for a federally mandated 14-day quarantine in the base's Consolidated Bachelor's Quarters or Miramar Inn, officials said.

The flights were chartered by the U.S. State Department.
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A child who was being housed with a group quarantined for possible coronavirus infection at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside has become ill and will undergo testing, officials said.

Four military bases are on standby to house those who need to be screened for coronavirus. Travis is prepared to quarantine those who arrive from China for at least 14 days within the month of February.

The evacuees were repeatedly screened for coronavirus before they landed at Travis Air Force Base. They will be quarantined at the Westwind Inn on the base itself according to the Pentagon with the CDC in charge of their care and security.

Travis Air Force Base is providing facilities to house up to 250 evacuees.

The base employs about 14,000 people. Some residents of Fairfield are concerned.

"There are people out there with compromised immune systems and this would be detrimental to them and I know they are very nervous with the fact this is going to be in our community," said Fairfield resident CJ Kaialoa.
Resident Megan Payne had a different take.

"I'm not concerned because the flu virus kills more people than the coronavirus has," said Payne.

No military personnel or outside residents will have contact with the 200+ people to be isolated on the base. Only the CDC will be in touch with the evacuees for the next few weeks.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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