If being quarantined will keep the deadly coronavirus from spreading in the US, Matthew McCoy is happy to spend a couple of weeks at a military base in California.
McCoy and nearly 200 other Americans evacuated from Wuhan, the city in China where the international outbreak started, will spend the next two weeks at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, according to new reports.
“All of us really want to stay here and make sure we’re all medically clear and the public safe,” said McCoy, a theme park designer who lives in China.
The US flew the group out of China on a chartered flight earlier this week to the base, where federal officials had ordered them to stay for three days for monitoring and testing. Health officials expanded the order to two weeks because the virus can take up to 14 days to make a person ill.
“We understand this action may seem drastic. We would rather be remembered for overreacting than underreacting,” said Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
The federal quarantine order is the first since 1963, when a woman returned from a trip to Sweden during a smallpox outbreak and couldn’t prove she had been vaccinated.
The group is staying in hotel-style housing at the base, which about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. Some wear protective medical masks while they pass time walking and exercising.
Doctors are still awaiting test results for each evacuee; so far, all the results have come back negative.
Football player Jarred Evans, who was playing in a professional league in Wuhan, also said the evacuees “completely understand” that staying on the base is “the right thing to do.”
“People want to go home. But it’s better than being stuck in the epidemic center,” Evans said, adding that Wuhan was a ghost town when he left. “Imagine New York City being shut down.”
With Post wires
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