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More flights of cruise ship evacuees arrive at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

Miramar Brig (Mahlon K. Miller/WikiCommons)

Evacuees from the Grand Princess cruise ship continued to fly into Marine Corps Air Station Miramar for the third straight day Thursday where they will undergo a 14-day quarantine, officials said.

Two Thursday flights are expected to bring the total number of cruise ship evacuees housed at the base to around 480, according to officials. One, with 114 people on board, landed on base around 2:30 p.m. — another flight, expected around 9:30 p.m., has about 90 passengers, according to Gretchen Michael, a spokeswoman for Health and Human Services.

One person, a woman in her 70s who flew in on the first flight on Tuesday, tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in isolation at a local hospital, county officials announced Thursday.

Marine Corps officials confirmed that a Marine non-commissioned officer has also tested positive for the virus but has not been in contact with cruise ship evacuees — instead, the Marine recently returned from leave in Washington state where he is believed to have contracted the coronavirus.

The Marine’s case was not included in a San Diego County announcement Thursday that included new cases of COVID-19 in the county. The Marine brings the total number of known cases in the county to seven.

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“(It’s) very likely we now have community spread in San Diego,” said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher at Thursday’s news conference.

MCAS Miramar is one of four U.S. military installations housing evacuees from the Grand Princess cruise ship. The others are Travis Air Force Base near Fairfield, Ca., Dobbins Air Reserve base in Georgia and Joint Base Lackland in San Antonio.

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© 2020 The San Diego Union-Tribune