Second group of Americans quarantined over coronavirus is released from Miramar

A bus transporting coronavirus evacuees from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar leaves the base this week.
Cynthia, who did not give her last name, traveled from Texas to San Diego to meet her 2-year-old son, Alan, a coronavirus evacuee from China who completed a 14-day quarantine Thursday at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on Thursday. She was overcome with emotion as she held the toddler, the first person off a charter bus that arrived at San Diego International Airport from the Marine base.
(Howard Lipin / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Sixty-three Americans held in quarantine at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar were released from the base Thursday morning after passing a final round of health checks. They are the second group of evacuees to leave the Miramar quarantine after the first and larger group left Tuesday.

Many of those held in quarantine are from other regions in the U.S. — two busloads of previously quarantined individuals were released at San Diego International Airport on Tuesday to catch commercial flights home.

A statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday said the people released pose no danger to public health.


“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,” Benjamin Haynes, the CDC’s deputy branch chief, said in a statement.

After a trip from Wuhan, China, lasting 37 hours, 167 evacuees are living at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego County.

Feb. 7, 2020

While those released from quarantine have been declared free of the virus by health officials, others in the region continue to be monitored. According to San Diego County public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten, who addressed the county’s Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, 249 low- and medium-risk travelers returned to the county after being in China either as visitors or expatriates.

On Wednesday, the board unanimously approved a local emergency declaration regarding the coronavirus as the number of people under self-supervised home quarantine across the region continued to grow.

Wooten said Wednesday that one person has had the quarantine period extended to Monday because of contact with one of the two people who tested positive.

Haynes and Dr. Erin Staples, the CDC’s field lead for MCAS Miramar, confirmed the case in the CDC’s statement Thursday.

“From among the second group to arrive at MCAS Miramar, one person who is confirmed to have COVID-19 remains under care at a local hospital,” Haynes said. “A close contact of that case remains under quarantine.”


Staples said the CDC is relying on local healthcare providers and is confident in their care.

“Two passengers’ journeys have been delayed, but we are confident in the care they are receiving from local health officials and healthcare providers,” Staples said. “We appreciate the dedication and cooperation that MCAS Miramar, San Diego County, UC San Diego, Rady Children’s Hospital and Scripps Mercy Hospital have provided in recent weeks to ensure these evacuees have been appropriately cared for, while also protecting the health of their local community.”


11:45 a.m. Feb. 20, 2020: This story was updated with comments people released from quarantine.