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Americans quarantined in California for coronavirus to be released

Provided they continue to be symptom free, the formerly quarantined Americans will be allowed to return home.

Passengers are taken off of the Kalitta Air Boeing 747-400 freighter and shuttled onto waiting busses at the March Air Reserve Base carrying 195 American evacuees in Riverside, California, on January 29, 2020. All 195 people evacuees, quarantined at the base since their arrival, will be released Tuesday, CDC officials said. Photo by Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE
Passengers are taken off of the Kalitta Air Boeing 747-400 freighter and shuttled onto waiting busses at the March Air Reserve Base carrying 195 American evacuees in Riverside, California, on January 29, 2020. All 195 people evacuees, quarantined at the base since their arrival, will be released Tuesday, CDC officials said. Photo by Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE

Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The 195 Americans quarantined at a California military base following their evacuation from China after the coronavirus outbreak are scheduled to be released, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said Tuesday.

The quarantined, mostly State Department employees and their families, have been housed at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, Calif. since late January. They will be allowed to return to their homes Tuesday.

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"Today is the 14th day of the quarantine of the individuals who were on the first charter flight returning from Wuhan province and they are currently being assessed to make sure they remain symptom-free," Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, said during a press briefing.

In all, the State Department has evacuated more than 800 American citizens from Wuhan, ground zero for the Covid-19 outbreak, as well as surrounding areas in Hubei province, since the outbreak began in earnest in January. Most of them have been quarantined at military bases across the country.

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Although 13 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the United States to date, none of them was among the 195 quarantined at March. All but two of the confirmed cases involved people who had recently traveled to China.

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The mandatory quarantine of the Hubei evacuees was the first time the CDC had enacted the measure in more than 50 years. However, Schuchat said Tuesday that the quarantines and travel restrictions imposed have "slowed the arrival of this virus" into the United States.

Among the travel restrictions were those in place by American Airlines. The company suspended all flights to and from mainland China and Hong Kong last month.

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The airline extended the restrictions Tuesday, suspending flights from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport to mainland China, and from LAX to Hong Kong International Airport through April 24. Suspension of flights from DFW to Hong Kong also was extended through April 23.

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