Four more planes carrying American passengers from Wuhan, China will arrive in the U.S. this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today (Feb. 5) during a press conference.
The planes will land today and tomorrow at the Travis Air Force Base in Sacramento, the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas and the Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska.
The first group of U.S. citizens — 195 passengers — were flown from Wuhan to the U.S. on Jan. 29 and are still under quarantine at the March Air Force Base in Riverside, California. Their 14 days of legal quarantine will end the beginning of next week, and if they’re healthy, they will be free to go home, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during the news conference.
None of those quarantined have tested positive for the coronavirus, but one child at the March Air Force Base was recently taken to a hospital after developing a fever, Riverside County health officials announced on Tuesday (Feb. 4). It’s unclear if that fever is related to the coronavirus or not.
It’s not yet clear how many new passengers will be arriving, but similarly, they will all be issued quarantines at designated locations for 14 days after they take off from Wuhan. CDC staff will meet the planes and assess the health of the passengers, Messonnier said.
The passengers will be monitored, screened and evaluated for symptoms of the coronavirus during their journey and when they land in the U.S. If any of the passengers develop symptoms, medical care will be immediately ready for them, Messonnier added.
“We do not believe these people pose a threat to the communities where they are being housed as we are taking measures to minimize any contact,” she said. Authorities do expect there will be some confirmed coronavirus infections among Americans returning from Hubei province. Messonnier noted that they may not catch every passenger returning with the novel coronavirus but “if we can catch the majority of them, that will slow the entry of this virus into the United States.”
Currently, there are 11 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States. All of those patients are doing well and recovering, Messonnier said.