Riverside County health officials have issued a quarantine order for one of the passengers from the Wuhan, China flight who attempted to leave the March Air Reserve Base.
American diplomats and citizens evacuated Tuesday from the epicenter of the fast-spreading Coronavirus in China and landed Wednesday at the military base in Riverside County. It was reported 201 people were on board a U.S Government chartered flight from Wuhan, China. The passengers aboard the American bound plane included family units with babies and teenagers.
A press conference was held Wednesday where officials said all passengers will remain on site for at least three days as they undergo medical evaluations that include nose swabs and blood samples.
When one of the passengers tried to leave Thursday, Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser issued an order requiring the person to stay for the entire incubation period or until otherwise cleared.
“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,” reported the Riverside County Health Department. “The individual will remain at March Air Reserve Base until their health status is confirmed. All other passengers from the flight also remain at the base and continue to be evaluated.”
At the media event held Wednesday morning at the Riverside University Health System, Medical Center in Moreno Valley, CA. Deputy Director Chris Braden from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions said the passengers will go through daily evaluations before they are allowed to leave. The quarantine was issued for three days but the the risk of showing symptoms of the Coronavirus could take up to two weeks.
Braden on Wednesday said it is a balance of protecting people and their rights, “If we can do that without a federal quarantine order that restricts people and takes away their rights, that’s what we will do.”
Jose Arballo Jr. a spokesman with the Riverside County Health Department said the passengers at the base are being housed in hotel like suites that are very comfortable with a bed and bathroom.
”It is nothing fancy but they can shower, clean up and have three meals a day served to them. They also have grassy areas where they go outside and walk around,” said Arballo.
The CDC also announced Thursday, the first person to person transmission of the Wuhan Coronavirus in the United Stated was confirmed. The Illinois patient is a man in his sixties who is married to a woman around the same age. The woman contracted the virus while traveling to Wuhan.