The first of two planes carrying Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has arrived at Travis Air Force Base, according to various media reports.
CBSN Bay Area reported that a chartered flight carrying evacuees landed at the base sometime after 11:20 p.m. Sunday. CNN reported a second is scheduled to arrive early Monday morning at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in San Antonio, Texas.
Meanwhile the State Department has confirmed that 14 individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 were included in the evacuation, according to a statement released early Monday morning.
According to the statement, those individuals were moved to a specialized containment area on the evacuation aircraft to isolate them, per standard protocols.
Those who tested positive were asymptomatic, according to the statement.
All 300 evacuated individuals are expected to deplane at either Travis Air Force Base of Joint Base San Antonio, and the uninfected will remain under quarantine for 14 days. Passengers who tested positive and any that developed symptoms during the flight will be transported to “an appropriate location for continued isolation and care,” according to the statement.
It is still unknown if any of the passengers will be quarantined at Camp Roberts in San Luis Obispo County.
Paso Robles social worker Sarah Arana, who was among the passengers quarantined on the ship and then evacuated, wrote in a Facebook post just before midnight that her plane had landed at Travis Air Force Base, but passengers were not yet allowed to disembark. Arana said the Center for Disease Control and other officials were expected to be at the base to process the evacuees.
“What an amazing journey,” she wrote. “I have no idea where they will send me from here and I’m told we don’t get a choice. But it doesn’t even matter. I am back home. My heart is bursting. I am ready for the next phase of this journey and whatever magic it holds.”
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