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What Does It Mean To Be Quarantined? And Who Pays For It?

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE (CBS13) — Preparations were underway at Travis Air Force Base Tuesday evening as a planeload of people from China were set to arrive overnight. 

The group was evacuated from the coronavirus outbreak zone and will be quarantined at the base, monitored for signs of the virus.

A federally-ordered quarantine like this is rare. The last time one was ordered was more than 50 years ago to contain smallpox. 

Last week the first group of Americans airlifted out of China landed at March Air Reserve Base in Southern California. They are now under a 14-day quarantine. 

The hundreds of evacuees flying into Travis Air Force Base will be under quarantine. 

READ MORE: American Evacuees From Coronavirus Outbreak Zone Set To Arrive At Travis Air Force Base

Dr. Cris Braden is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ground team. He says if the federal government believes a person is a danger to the community, they can institute an individual quarantine for that person. 

A person can only be quarantined for as long as it is necessary to protect the public. People can fight it in court, but it is at their own expense. 

If a person is put in quarantine, they are checked on twice a day by medical staff who will monitor their temperature and check them for symptoms. 

At March Air Reserve Base, quarantined people have access to Zumba and kickboxing classes. Children there have toys and organized activities. They're also served meals. 

If the patients have health insurance, the CDC will submit a bill for the cost of care to their health care provider, but for those without insurance, the government will pay for the care, possibly billing programs like Medicaid. 

If someone violates the quarantine they face a fine of up to $100,000, a year in jail, or both. And, if someone dies as a result of a person breaking the quarantine, the fine goes up to $250,000. 

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