Story at a glance
- About 200 Americans evacuated from China and stationed at a military base in California have tested negative for the coronavirus and are expecting release.
- None of the evacuees quarantined in the March Air Reserve Base tested positive; some in other military bases did.
- One doctor assures the public that there is no increased risk to public health and calls for respect for patients and staff.
The quarantined Americans evacuated from mainland China in the past few weeks are being prepared to end their quarantine, according to an Associated Press report.
About 200 citizens have spent two weeks at the March Air Reserve Base in Southern California after being evacuated from Wuhan and surrounding areas in China by charter plane.
Their release comes as the global coronavirus death toll rises to 1,000.
None of the evacuees stationed at the March Air Reserve Base tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the AP. Other evacuees have been quarantined in military bases across the country, including in Texas, Nebraska and others in California.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that one evacuee quarantined at Marine Air Station Miramar in San Diego was hospitalized for evaluation and eventually tested positive for coronavirus. Three other passengers evaluated tested negative for the coronavirus.
Another evacuee from the Miramar base was hospitalized soon after.
In a statement, UC San Diego Health, the hospital that is treating the single evacuee, said that “Both patients are doing well and have minimal symptoms.”
In the U.S., there have been 13 confirmed cases of the virus. One doctor working in the March Air Reserve Base, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, published an open letter to the Riverside County, Calif., community where the base is located.
She clarified that the risk of catching the virus remains low to the American public, and stated that staff at the military base have been subjected to poor treatment from the surrounding community.
“There have been comments made that have been hurtful — both in person and on social media — that are often based on incorrect or incomplete information,” Kaiser wrote. “A few base workers have even been accosted in uniform. This is not acceptable, and needs to stop.”
Farther north, Santa Clara County, Calif., has declared a local health emergency. This is the result of a local declaration administered by county officials that “helps ensure that the county is prepared to respond effectively to the outbreak and allows them to receive mutual aid resources from the state of California and other jurisdictions,” according to local outlets.
Two of the 13 confirmed coronavirus cases reported in the U.S. were located in Santa Clara County. Officials stated that this still does not mean there is an increased risk to the public.