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Flight With U.S. Passengers Arrives From Wuhan, Epicenter Of Coronavirus

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A plane filled with Americans who were in the Chinese city at the center of a coronavirus outbreak is now back in the U.S.

CBS 2's Tim Mcicholas reports the passengers will now be held in quarantine at a U.S. military base.

The evacuees stepped off the jet at March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley, California, where they were taken into isolation. A ground crew wearing white protective gear handled their luggage.

"We are going to monitor them for the full extent of their incubation period," said Dr. Chris Braden of the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

The U.S. government charted the flight to get the 201 Americans, including U.S. diplomats out of Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The passengers were screened for signs of illness before they left China, and again when the plane landed in Alaska to refuel.

"During the course of these screening processes, we check for symptoms that would be concerning of the novel coronavirus, including fever, cough and other respiratory symptoms." said Dr. Nancy Knight of the CDC.

The passengers will remain at the base anywhere between three and fourteen days. If any one becomes ill, they will be transported to a nearby hospital.

The virus has sickened thousands in China and killed more than 100 people. Some major airlines, including British Airways, have cancelled all flights to China, a move the Trump administration is keeping a close eye on.

"I think that was a British Airways corporate decision, not a decision by the UK government. But again, we're monitoring the situation very closely and we'll work with out airline partners," said National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien.

The World Health Organization praised China's response to the outbreak.

"They are taking extraordinary measures in the face of what is an extraordinary challenge," said Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme

At the air base, health officials say they are taking measures, keeping the passengers away from all military personnel.

CBS 2 is also learning more about safety steps in place at St. Alexius Hospital in Hoffman Estates. That's where doctors are treating a 60-year-old Chicago woman infected with coronavirus.

The hospital said only specially trained employees are allowed in the woman's isolation room.

They have to wear gloves, masks, gowns and face shields. No visitors allowed, but she can talk to her family on the phone.

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