Statewide NewsLackland Air Force Base Releases 90 Evacuees Cleared of Coronavirus

On Thursday, 90 evacuees quarantined at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio for potential exposures to the coronavirus were cleared and allowed to return home.
February 21, 2020
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On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that 90 evacuees quarantined for potential exposures to the coronavirus at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio had been released. 

After two weeks of isolation, the first group of individuals evacuated from the Hubei Province in Central China where the outbreak originated were allowed to return to their respective homes.

“Today, 90 people recently returned from Wuhan, China, via State Department-charted flight completed their 14-day quarantine at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. One person who traveled to Lackland via the State Department-charted flight is confirmed to have COVID-19 and remains under care at a local hospital,” a statement from the CDC reads.

The individual who tested positive was treated at Methodist Texsan hospital before being transferred to a different unspecified facility for further treatment.

“All of the other individuals have been medically cleared and CDC officials have lifted their quarantine orders. It is important to know that these people being released from quarantine pose no health risk to the surrounding community, or to the communities they will be returning to,” the statement continues. 

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Earlier this week, the State Department announced that 14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Prince cruise ship off the coast of Japan had tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Altogether, more than 300 Americans of the 3,700 passengers were evacuated from the cruise ship after being quarantined since February 3. 

The evacuees were repatriated to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and Travis Air Force Base in California to remain in isolation for a period of 14 days. 

Last week, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg stressed that “the risk to the general public of contracting COVID-19 continues to remain low,” despite the evacuees quarantined at Lackland. 

“Every precaution has been taken to keep the public isolated from these travelers who are in a precautionary quarantine and any travelers who have shown symptoms of the virus. Our residents should continue to go about their lives,” Nirenberg said in a press release.

So far, Lackland has served as a quarantine site for 235 individuals with potential exposure to the coronavirus. 

As of Thursday, 144 individuals remain in isolation. 

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Sarah McConnell

Sarah McConnell

Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.

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