A flight carrying U.S. diplomats, family members and other Americans out of Wuhan, China, as a potentially deadly form of coronavirus continues to spread, was diverted from its planned destination of Ontario International Airport to March Air Reserve Base on Wednesday.
About 240 U.S. citizens, including nine children, were set to be screened for symptoms of the Wuhan coronavirus before boarding the plane in China, according to a statement from David Wert, a public information officer for San Bernardino County.
The flight, chartered by the U.S. government, was expected to leave Tuesday night before stopping in Anchorage, Alaska, to refuel. Passengers will again be screened before the plane continues on to Southern California.
“No occupants who present symptoms of illness will be allowed to proceed into the continental United States,” Wert said in the statement.
The passengers who were allowed to continue on were scheduled to land in Ontario sometime Wednesday but it was later announced that they were diverted to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, according to the City of Ontario Twitter page. No reason was immediately given for the change.
Upon arrival, the passengers will again be screened and could be monitored in temporary living quarters at the airport for up to two weeks, the statement read.
More than 4,500 cases have been diagnosed since the Wuhan coronavirus was discovered last month in central China. The death toll has climbed to more than 100 people.
Five cases have been reported in the United States, including one in Los Angeles County and one in Orange County.