Quarantine ordered for passenger who tried to leave March Air Reserve Base after flight from China


A charter plane lands at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California on January 29, 2020, with passengers evacuated from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the heart of a growing outbreak of the deadly 2019 Novel Coronavirus. – Some 200 US citizens evacuated from Wuhan were met on the tarmac by emergency vehicles and three buses. The Department of Defense said the evacuees will be sent to local hospitals if they are suspected of being infected with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The epidemic has killed more than 130 people and spread around the world since it first emerged in a live food market in Wuhan in December. (Photo by Matt Hartman / AFP) (Photo by MATT HARTMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KTLA) — An American evacuated from Wuhan, China, on a charter flight has been placed under quarantine after trying to leave March Air Reserve Base, where the plane landed the previous day, Riverside County health officials said Thursday.

The quarantine order, which was issued by Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser, comes as all passengers from that flight are being monitored for coronavirus symptoms.

According to a statement from the health agency, the passenger will be required to “stay for the entire incubation period or until otherwise cleared.”

The action was taken as a precautionary measure due to the unknown risk of someone leaving the Riverside County military base without undergoing a full health evaluation, the statement read.

Nearly 200 Americans who were evacuated from the epicenter of the deadly coronavirus outbreak landed at MARB Wednesday. They’re expected to be monitored there for at least three days for signs of the virus.

None of the 195 passengers showed signs of sickness, but they agreed to stay at the base voluntarily, said Dr. Chris Braden of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

U.S. health officials were not expected to issue a blanket quarantine for the evacuees.

Meanwhile, Rep. Norma Torres, a Democrat who represents California’s 35th District, on Thursday requested an investigation into the federal planning, coordination and communication for the chartered flight, which was initially scheduled to land at Ontario International Airport before the flight was ultimately diverted.

“For two days, the Department of State and the Department of Health and Human Services left Inland Empire residents alarmed about the risks posed by potential coronavirus patients being flown into a public space at the heart of our community, and confused by the utter lack of a coherent plan to keep anyone safe,” Torres said in a statement. “ONT was up to this task immediately, but that does not excuse the dismal lack of communication by the federal government.”

Also on Thursday, the World Health Organization declared a global emergency over the Novel coronavirus, which has killed at least 170 people and infected nearly 8,000 others in China, most of them in the hardest-hit city of Wuhan.

There are nearly 100 confirmed cases outside of mainland China. The first person-to-person spread was reported in the U.S. Thursday after a Chicago woman infected her husband, bringing to the total cases in this country to six.

Two of the cases are in Southern California, one each in L.A. and Orange counties.

Anyone with questions about coronavirus can contact Riverside University Health System Public System information line at 951-358-5134 or visit the agency’s website.

CNN contributed to this story. 

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