Evacuees from Wuhan quarantined at Travis Air Force Base

Local News

Data pix.

FAIRFIELD, Calif. (KTXL) -- Wednesday morning, two planes arrived at Travis Air Force Base from Wuhan, China.

While one plane refueled and later took off for Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego County, 178 people deboarded the other plane and will be calling Travis AFB home for the next two weeks.

It was part of the first quarantine order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in more than 50 years.

“We welcomed them to the U.S.,” said CDC spokesman Dr. Henry Walke at Wednesday’s press conference. “There was applause when they walked through the door. Frankly, it was a very emotional experience.”

Most of the evacuees are American citizens.

“They were very happy and smiling to be home. Obviously tired,” Dr. Walke said.

The CDC said while most were feeling fine, one child did come down with a fever during the flight. The child was taken to a hospital along with their mother, according to the CDC.

The CDC said it will take a few days for them to know if the child has coronavirus.

“Children have fever for a number of different reasons, and so the child is being evaluated at this point and will be put in isolation and tested,” Walke told reporters.

Meanwhile, the other 176 passengers -- some as young as 2 and others as old as 65 -- are being housed at the Westwind Inn on base.

“They’re not stuck in their room,” Walke explained. “The housing is is that there are common spaces. There’s also a large outdoor area. There are kids among these evacuees, and so we have people on the staff who are working to put together activities.”

Photos show the quarantine zone at the base’s Westwind Inn, where Daisy Roth and her daughters, 5-year-old Abigail and 10-month-old Adalynn, will wait out the next two weeks.

“They brought diapers. There is baby food, baby wipes, and all these things were supplied in the hotel that's on the Air Force base,” said Roth’s husband, Samuel.

Their father is sending them love and support from Wisconsin while he counts down the days until he can bring his family home.

“It’s not that I want my family to be there for two weeks, but I want to fully comply with whatever precautions are necessary to ensure that my family is well,” Samuel said. “But also that we’re not bringing the disease into the community.”

However, the CDC is telling the evacuees to maintain distance from one another and not to share items such as toys.

The CDC said airmen will not be allowed near the quarantine zone and has contracted others to provide service to the evacuees, like cooking food and taking out their trash.

“We’re also providing guidance on infection prevention and control for this,” Walke said.

Medical personnel have been checking temperatures and watching for breathing problems.

Hospitals in the area are prepared to treat any of the evacuees in isolation if they become sick, according to the CDC.

If after two weeks none of the evacuees fall ill, the CDC said they will be released back home to their families.

“They’ve been through a lot and we’re going to do everything possible to care for them,” Walke said.

FOX40 has learned a Sacramento woman teaching and living overseas in Wuhan, China, is on the list for the next quarantine flight to the U.S.

“She’s not scared. She is at peace,” said her mother, Vera Demchuk.

Demchuk said her 39-year-old daughter, Irena Sokol, feels healthy and had been hoping to stay in China.

“She was feeling safe. She said, ‘We have enough food in our apartment and we are OK. We don’t have to go out. We are fine,’” Demchuk explained.

Her mother said she is preparing to travel home to the U.S. for a 14-day quarantine at one of the designated military bases.

“We just hope for the best,” Demchuk said. “We hope that they will let her on the plane and they're going to come here and get reunited. We’ll see.”

Meanwhile, doctors have been saying no one in Solano County is at any increased risk.

The CDC said risk of spread is extremely low and people really do not need to wear face masks. However, many local pharmacies and medical supply stores have been reporting a shortage of face masks.

Data pix.


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