Coronavirus evacuees from China to stay in quarantine 14 days at MCAS Miramar

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SAN DIEGO – Hours after a plane landed at MCAS Miramar with about 170 passengers from Wuhan, China, a medical expert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stepped in front of cameras to ease concerns.

The passengers will be kept on base in quarantine for 14 days due to the growing concern over coronavirus exposure.

“I know people are concerned, especially for their kids,” said Christopher Braden, a lead doctor with the CDC. “If there were an ongoing spread in the community, we would know it -- and that’s not happening. Right now in the United States, communities are at very low risk for exposure, including San Diego and including this base.”

Twelve cases of coronavirus have been positively confirmed in the United States since the virus began spreading several weeks ago in Wuhan, China.

Braden said he will personally be in contact with the passengers at Miramar. “When I go in, I know they are being monitored,” Braden said. “I talk to them, I don’t wear any protection, and I’m very comfortable with that.”

Braden said he does stand about six feet away from passengers to be safe. He confirmed the passengers are staying in a part of the base where they will have 24-7 access to medical attention -- and even a playground for kids to use.

“They have a fairly large area within the quarantined borders,” Braden said. “(There are) two sites on base, and (they) are allowed to go where they like in that area. We don’t have any recommendations that they wear a face mask.”

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