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Miramar coronavirus evacuees start petition for quarantine oversight

Posted at 6:16 PM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 21:24:47-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Evacuees at MCAS Miramar have circulated a petition at the base after a coronavirus patient was mistakenly reintroduced to those under quarantine.

The petition, which begins by thanking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suggests several actions be taken at Miramar to mitigate the potential spread of the virus.

Samples from three patients brought to UC San Diego Medical Center were not labeled consistently with CDC regulations, leading to results being returned as negative, when in reality, the samples were not tested.

RELATED: Mislabeled sample led to release of COVID-19 patient

One of those patients ended up testing positive for coronavirus. She was placed under self-isolation at the base before being brought back to the hospital.

The petition:

Following the confusion, a petition — written in both English and Chinese by an unknown author — suggested several precautions be taken in the future:

  • "Everyone in the facility be tested;
  • Preventing the gathering of large numbers of people into small, enclosed environments. The alternatives we suggest are the following:
    • In room temperature taking in the morning;
    • Meals delivered to the door;
    • Townhalls through conference calls;
  • Periodic delivery of personal protective gear to each room including masks and sanitizing alcohol for in room disinfection;
  • Provision of hand sanitizer at the front desk and in the playground; and
  • Disinfection of public areas 2-3 times/day including playground, laundry room, door knobs, etc."

The petition adds that, "CDC’s current working assumption is the virus won’t spread until symptoms develop. However, we strongly disagree with using that assumption as the basis against broader testing ... As such, we believe testing everyone at the facility would help identify potential suspects as early as possible, so the appropriate treatment could be put in place."

RELATED: First case of coronavirus confirmed in San Diego

The patient who tested positive for coronavirus is said to be doing well at UC San Diego Health. During a press conference Tuesday, officials said there has not been a known breach in the quarantine and there shouldn't be a concern among the general public.

"When you look at the big picture, the community remains safe, the people on the base remain safe, with the exception of one little laboratory piece," one official told the media.

The first flight carrying 167 evacuees arrived at MCAS Miramar on Feb. 5, before a second flight carrying 65 evacuees arrived the next day. Those passengers are all serving 14-day quarantines that started the day they left China.