TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Nearly 350 Americans who fled the coronavirus zone in China completed a 14-day quarantine at California military bases and were cleared to go home Tuesday, officials announced.
A group of 180 people at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield and 166 others at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego were medically cleared to leave, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
“These people being released from quarantine pose no health risk to the surrounding community, or to the communities they will be returning to,” the agency said.
Two other groups that arrived in government-chartered flights from virus-stricken areas of China are expected to be released from the military bases in California later this week.
Travis, about 50 miles (80 kilometres) north of San Francisco, is also housing about 170 cruise ship passengers who were flown to California Sunday from Japan. They are being housed away from those who arrived from China, officials said.
On Tuesday, shuttles were ferrying the evacuees from a hotel at Travis to the base’s visitors centre, where anxious relatives waited to take them home.
“I have no words to describe it. It was a really hard time,” Abdullah Alamoudi said of waiting to reunite with his wife and two young daughters.
Alamoudi told KTVU-TV he was separated from his family in China after he went to Shanghai on a business trip and his wife and children went to visit family in Wuhan, the city in China that is the epicenter of the outbreak.
“We just contacted the (U.S.) embassy and thank God, they picked them up,” Alamoudi said.
One person who arrived with the group at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar tested positive for the virus and is doing well at a hospital, the CDC said.
“Today marks an end to a long, stressful journey for these 166 passengers,” said Dr. Erin Staples, who was leading efforts for the CDC at Miramar.
The Associated Press