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Flight brings US employees from coronavirus zone to Southern California

Posted at 5:48 AM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 17:42:28-05

(KGTV) — A flight carrying U.S. Consulate employees from Wuhan, China, where the deadly coronavirus outbreak began, arrived in Southern California Wednesday.

The charter jet flight landed at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County Wednesday, multiple media outlets reported. The employees were ordered by the U.S. State Department to leave the region.

More than 200 Americans are on board, according to ABC. The flight was originally scheduled to land in Ontario, Calif., before it was redirected.

Once landing in Southern California, the employees will undergo three health checks to determine whether or not they are infected with the virus. The CDC says passengers will be quarantined for at least three days and monitored. Anyone who shows signs of the illness may be held up to 14 days.

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The passengers passed two health inspections in Alaska, after passing two other inspections in China, en route to California, ABC News reported. After landing in California, ground crew wearing white clothing approached and three buses were seen pulling up nearby, the AP reported.

Two Southern California coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Orange County and Los Angeles County already.

In San Diego County, health officials are still waiting for results of a possible coronavirus case locally. The potential patient recently traveled to the impacted areas of China, according to the County Health and Human Services Agency.

A specimen was collected from the patient and sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing. No details about the patient have been released.

"The risk of infection for the general public is minimal," Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County public health officer, said. "If you have not traveled to an area where the virus has been detected or had close contact with a patient who tested positive for this type of coronavirus, the risk of infection is very low."