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US Citizens Arriving From China Expected To Be Quarantined At MCAS Miramar

A sign at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar is shown in this photo, Sept. 29, 2017.
Nicholas McVicker
A sign at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar is shown in this photo, Sept. 29, 2017.

American citizens on a flight from China are expected to be sent to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar under a temporary federal quarantine, Rep. Scott Peters said Monday.

"I was notified by MCAS Miramar yesterday that the base is expecting to receive a flight of American citizens returning from China due to the recent coronavirus outbreak," Peters said in a statement released Sunday.

"I will continue to monitor the situation closely and am requesting a public briefing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide San Diegans with the most updated information."

MCAS Miramar Director of Communications Capt. Matthew Gregory said the base has not received word on when the flight would arrive.

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Peters had previously announced the flight would arrive Monday, an announcement superseded by updated information, according to MaryAnne Pintar, Peters' district chief of staff.

The Defense Department on Saturday approved the use of additional military facilities across the country, including MCAS Miramar, to serve as repatriation centers for U.S. diplomats and American citizens returning from China who may have come in contact with the coronavirus.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved the request from the Department of Health and Human Services, which requested the Defense Department provide several facilities capable of housing at least 250 people in individual rooms through Feb. 29.

The other bases are Travis Air Force Base in Northern California; the 168th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, in Fort Carson, Colorado; and Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

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HHS is responsible for providing medical and standard care, transportation and security for evacuees.

The passengers who will arrive at Miramar have been screened twice for signs of the virus, according to base officials. All passengers will be held on the military base to undergo an additional 14 days of screening to ensure they do not pose a health risk to the public.

"As we continue to learn more, I urge everyone to follow CDC guidelines," said Peters, D-San Diego. "There have been no confirmed cases on the virus within San Diego, Poway or Coronado."

Passengers will be provided food, water, lodging and sundries while on the base from Health and Human Services and receive medical care if required, according to Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Shawn Doublet, deputy director of communications at Miramar.