SAN ANTONIO, Texas (KXAN) — A plane carrying passengers from Wuhan, China, where the novel coronavirus originated, landed Friday morning in Texas.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio is one of four locations nationwide where planes from Wuhan will arrive.
During a media briefing Friday afternoon, an official said there are “less than 100 people” staying on base for their 14-day quarantine mandated by the federal government.
“It’s safest for these Americans who are healthy and not known to be infected to be brought home,” said Capt. Jennifer McQuiston with the United States Public Health Service.
“All arrived passengers will be on a federally-mandated quarantine order of 14 days,” she said.
McQuiston said the length of the order is based on what they think is the incubation period of novel coronavirus. The base is prepared to house up to 250 passengers, but the exact number of people who arrive is unknown.
“The goal of evacuating Americans, as I mentioned, is to bring them into a controlled quarantine environment under CDC observation … to ensure their health needs are met and to limit the spread of the virus,” McQuiston said.
The others are in Sacramento and San Diego in California, and Omaha, Neb.
CDC personnel will meet each plane landing in the US, and will ensure that passengers are transported to their designated quarantine location.
The quarantine order begins on the day the flight left Wuhan, and lasts for up to two weeks.
Any passenger showing symptoms of the virus will be taken to a hospital to be evaluated.
They will already have been screened and evaluated before takeoff and during the flight from China.
CDC stated it maintains its belief that the immediate risk of coronavirus exposure to the public is low.