Pentagon Makes Quarantine Housing Announcement as More US Virus Cases Appear
The Department of Defense announced Saturday that it is making room at four military bases for up to 1,000 people who might need to be quarantined because of exposure to the coronavirus.
The announcement came as Massachusetts confirmed that a Boston resident became the eighth confirmed case of the virus in the U.S. and New York City authorities said they were awaiting results on a possible case there.
The installations that will house Americans who return from overseas and must be quarantined include the 168th Regiment Regional Training Institute in Fort Carson, Colorado; Travis Air Force Base in California; Lackland Air Force Base in Texas; and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California, according to Fox News.
The department’s primary responsibility is the safety of our force, our families and our base communities. DOD personnel will not be directly in contact with any potential evacuees and evacuees will not have access to any base location other than their assigned housing.
— Jonathan Rath Hoffman (@ChiefPentSpox) February 1, 2020
The need for housing came in response to a Trump administration decision revealed Friday by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
“Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in Hubei Province in the previous 14 days will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to ensure they are they are provided proper medical care and health screening,” he said. “To be clear, this applies only to U.S. citizens who have been in Hubei Province in the past 14 days prior to their attempted entry into the United States.”
Citizens coming back from other places in China face less-restrictive conditions, Azar said.
“Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in the rest of Mainland China within the previous 14 days will undergo proactive entry health screening at a select number of ports of entry and up to 14 days of monitored self-quarantine to ensure they’ve not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk,” he said.
–Cases in China soared to 14,380
–Death toll is now at 304, 2,110 serious cases, China said
–First suspected case is reported in New York City
–Goldman Sachs cancelled global partners’ meeting in New York
— Bloomberg (@business) February 2, 2020
On Saturday, New York City health officials said they are awaiting test results to see if a suspected coronavirus case would become the ninth confirmed case in the U.S.
The New York Department of Health said the patient, who is reported to be under 40, recently returned from China and “presented with fever and cough or shortness of breath without another common cause, like influenza and other cold viruses,” the department said, according to WNBC-TV.
“An individual with a travel history to China felt unwell and sought help from a medical provider who promptly contacted the Health Department. This is exactly what we prepared for and we thank everyone for taking all the right steps,” Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said.
Previously, New York state investigated four possible cases, but none was confirmed.
A confirmed case in New York City would not be unexpected.
“It’s inevitable that we will have someone who is positive with coronavirus,” Barbot said last week, according to The New York Times.
“We are encouraging New Yorkers to go about their everyday lives and suggest practicing everyday precautions that we do through the flu season,” she said.
Massachusetts officials announced Saturday that a University of Massachusetts, Boston student returning from Wuhan, China, was the first confirmed case of the potentially deadly novel coronavirus in Massachusetts, according to the Boston Herald.
The student was described as a man in his 20s who flew into Logan International Airport on Jan. 28. He arrived with a runny nose and sought treatment the next day. He is not hospitalized and is at home in isolation while public health nurses check on his condition, officials said.
UPDATE: The man in his 20s who was diagnosed with the first case of the novel coronavirus in Massachusetts is a student at UMass Boston. “We are grateful that this young man is recovering and sought medical attention immediately.” https://t.co/BGn0bGph9W
— NBC10 Boston (@NBC10Boston) February 1, 2020
“We are fortunate in that the man quickly recognized that he was sick, that he was at risk for infection, and sought medical care quickly,” said Dr. Larry Madoff, medical director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Infectious Disease.
“The risk remains quite low at this time,” Madoff said. “This the only case in Massachusetts, and we are closely monitoring it.”
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