“Our guests at March Air Reserve Base are happy to see an official end today to their 14-day quarantine and are looking forward to returning home. We wish them well,” the Riverside University Health System, based in California’s Riverside County, confirmed on social media. The 195 evacuees were flown out of coronavirus epicenter Wuhan on a State Department-commissioned flight in late January before they were taken to March Air Reserve Base for medical isolation.
And Riverside public health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser captured some of the evacuees from Wuhan throwing their medical masks in the air outside the facility.
“Some of the 195 guests toss their face masks in celebration as they prepare to depart March Air Reserve Base,” he wrote on Twitter. The news was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Dr. Nancy Knight at a press conference at the base.
“All 195 evacuees have completed final health check” and “pose no health risk,” Knight said, adding that they are “safe to reenter their communities.”
— Dr. Cameron Kaiser (@RivCoDoc) February 11, 2020
Kaiser on Monday said no one from the first group of Americans tested positive for the virus, which is believed to have sickened tens of thousands across China, and that “two individuals with symptoms were retested and also found to be negative and have since recovered.” He added, “People who have not developed symptoms will have successfully completed their quarantine and will be free to leave the base.”
Kaiser said that some locals have exhibited inappropriate behavior amid concerns about the virus, saying they have made “hurtful” comments to staffers at March Airbase “in person and on social media,” according to his letter.
“A few base workers have even been accosted in uniform. This is not acceptable and needs to stop,” he added.
The State Department announced more than 800 Americans and U.S. lawful permanent residents returned to the United States after departing Wuhan over the weekend.
Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said all returning citizens and permanent residents will be screened for the virus in an attempt to prevent it from spreading inside the United States.
“Yesterday, two flights from Wuhan carrying U.S. citizens, their immediate family members, and U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents safely landed in the United States,” Ortagus told news outlets this week. “As with the other recent evacuation flights, all passengers will be carefully screened and monitored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.”
The outbreak in China has sickened thousands of people, prompting lockdowns in dozens of cities. Partial lockdowns were implemented in Beijing, the capital, and Shanghai this week.
It’s believed that tens of thousands of people have contracted the mysterious new virus since late last year. Chinese netizens and citizen journalists say that the number of cases and deaths are much higher than what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has reported, and they have blamed the CCP for censoring information and videos about the virus.