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Americans Evacuating From China Enter 2 Week Quarantine

Hundreds of Americans evacuating China over coronavirus concerns will stay in quarantine for 14 days.
Posted at 5:55 PM, Feb 06, 2020

More Americans fleeing the coronavirus outbreak in China are arriving in the U.S., and once they’re here they will have a two week quarantine to endure. 

The CDC is sending quarantine flights to four locations: Travis Air Force Base in Sacramento, CA; Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego; Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX; and Eppley Airfield in Omaha, NE.

Those hundreds of passengers were screened before taking off, and medical personnel monitored them in-flight. When they landed, CDC officials evaluated their temperatures and any respiratory symptoms they showed.

"So we check their temperatures twice a day. And we also ask them about new onset of any kind of respiratory symptom. We have a very, very low threshold then for transporting people who we think might be early in their symptomatic period here for evaluation and isolation. So that so we prevent transmission both within the quarantine space and outside of it," Eric Kasowski, Population Health Workforce Branch Chief for Centers for Disease Control told reporters at a briefing Thursday. 

Now those people are quarantined at various military bases. Some are staying in on-base hotels. Others are in dorm-like rooms. For these two weeks, quarantined people are not confined to their rooms, but they are secluded, some in fenced areas.

"We’re still going to take precautions; it’s not over. Everyone here is still wearing face masks,” Jarred Evans, a  US citizen in California quarantine said.

The quarantined individuals are NOT allowed physical contact with anyone outside. If they display symptoms consistent with the novel coronavirus, they will be taken to a nearby civilian hospital for treatment. 

"There is an area where they are. They have housing units. And I think that they are going about daily lives there the best that they can. I understand from the folks on the ground that in general, they are grateful to be home and have been very cooperative. But we know it's not an easy thing we're asking them to do. And we appreciate their cooperation because it's really essential. I will also point out that they're getting medical evaluations again as part of the normal course of action," said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director for CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases 

To date, six government chartered flights have carried evacuated U.S. nationals home. The CDC expects the earliest quarantine to be lifted February 11th. 

"As long as they are healthy and their immediate family is healthy, our plan is to release them and help them get to their final destination, which I presume will be home with their families. We’ll need to make sure that they're not sick with novel coronavirus, but otherwise I'm sure that they are looking forward to being released home,” Dr. Messonnier said.

Contains footage fromCNN.