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Wuhan Travelers Get 336 Hour Layover at Air Force Base

Wuhan Travelers Get 336 Hour Layover at Air Force Base

Nearly 200 Americans evacuated from Wuhan, China amid fears of the deadly coronavirus outbreak will be quarantined for two weeks at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California.

The 195 people disembarked a chartered flight and were then detained on order on the Department of Health and Human Services after one of them attempted to leave. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the travelers are being monitored for signs of the virus, which can have an incubation period of up to 14 days.

“While we recognize this is an unprecedented action, we are facing an unprecedented public health threat,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, a director at the CDC. “And this is one of the tools in our toolbox to mitigate the potential impact of this novel virus on the United States.”

The US State Department chartered a flight on January 29th, with Kalitta Air, using a cargo plane that was reconfigured to accommodate the passengers and stopping in Anchorage, Alaska before arriving in Riverside, about 55 miles (88km) east of Los Angeles.  The State Department has advised Americans to avoid travel to China.

The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak that originated in mainland China a global health emergency and there are currently six confirmed cases of the virus in the United States.

View Comments (7)


  1. jlemon

    February 4, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Obviously the virus is so virulent that the passengers who were quarantined were not allowed to fly in an aircraft that had windows on the main deck…..

  2. GrayAnderson

    February 4, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Ok, I’m gonna be “that guy”…

    Clearly, since the period involved exceeds 24 hours, it’s a stopover.

  3. largeeyes

    February 5, 2020 at 4:01 am

    Who would ever agree to go into the custody of the US Government willingly?!

  4. FEasy

    February 5, 2020 at 8:23 am

    I’ve been wondering this ever since that hulking Kalitta 747 showed up in pictures: why a cargo plane? Most nations repatriated people using passenger jets

  5. jrpallante

    February 6, 2020 at 9:13 am

    @Largeyes Maybe people who actually care about their fellow human beings? A couple weeks of free room and board is a small price to pay to help prevent the spread of a deadly disease.

  6. IBJoel

    February 6, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    jlemon and FEasy, my guess is to avoid cross contamination with either germs already in a passenger plane or putting potenitally-infected people in a passenger plane. Cargo plane might be easier to de-sanitize, but I’m not virologist.

  7. hessinger

    February 6, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    The reason the cargo planes is because they use temporary collapse seating on the flights to Wuhan and transported large amounts of medical equipment and supplies to Wuhan that had been donated by various orgs.

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