Nearly 350 Americans evacuated from China amid the coronavirus outbreak were released from two separate quarantine stations in California on Tuesday.
The first group had been in isolation at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield and the second was at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.
All of the US citizens had been evacuated from Wuhan in the province Hubei, the epicenter from the outbreak, where all but five of the 2,007 coronavirus deaths have occurred.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement that evacuees have ‘been medically cleared,’ of the virus that’s struck more than 75,000 people worldwide and said they ‘pose no health risk’ to their respective communities.
The health agency noted that a new group of evacuees arrived at Travis Air Force Base on Sunday after having been rescued from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.
But officials stressed the new group has been kept separate from other quarantined groups.
A group of 180 evacuees were released from their quarantine at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California on Tuesday. Pictured: Yanjun Wei (second from left) and her two young children were reunited with her husband Ken (second from right) after being under quarantine
On the same day, about 165 evacuees were freed from quarantine at Miramar Marine Air Corps Station in San Diego. Pictured: Evacuees at Miramar throw masks in the air in celebration
‘CDC extends its thanks to these individuals for their cooperation and patience during their quarantine and wish them well as they return to home, work, and school,’ a statement from the health agency read.
‘CDC also thanks the men and women on both bases and their families for their graciousness while holding these guests.’
The 180 evacuees at Travis Air Force Base have been living at the Westwind Inn on base since arriving two weeks ago.
Buses arrived on Tuesday morning taking evacuees to either Sacramento International Airport or San Francisco International Airport.
Among them were Yanjun Wei and her two young children, Mia and Ronan, who were evacuated to the US after visiting family in Wuhan.
They were greeted by Wei’s husband and the children’s father, Ken Burnett, who flew from their San Diego home to Sacramento Airport.
‘I’ve been waiting for this day,’ Wei told KCRA 3 News.
At Miramar Station, coach buses were seen arriving to transport the nearly 165 evacuees, although to where was not immediately clear.
One of the Americans, Yu Lin, posted several photos on Twitter celebrating the end of her quarantine.
In one photo, she showed tags meaning she passed her final health screening. In another, she and her fellow evacuees tossed their face masks in the air in celebration.
‘Lots of people asked me how I feel, I can only recognize my feeling now,’ Lin wrote on Tuesday morning.
‘It is like graduation. Bittersweet, happy, nervous, grateful, leaving friends, leaving people who cared for us, maybe a little tears…just no hugs.’
One Miramar evacuee posted celebratory photos of her passing her final health screening before being released
Both groups had been evacuated from Wuhan, considered to be the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. Pictured: A plane arrives with evacuated Americans at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego on February 7
The release of the two groups comes about one week after the first group of 195 American were able to leave March Air Reserve Base at the end of their quarantine period.
At the time, officials urged the public not to shun them, or the workers who helped them, after both groups faced discrimination.
‘They don’t need additional tests, they don’t need to be shunned, they don’t have novel coronavirus,’ Riverside County public health officer Cameron Kaiser said at a press conference.