SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Wuhan evacuee Yanjun Wei hugged her baby daughter and husband tightly. She had dreamed of the day her family would be united ever since she and her two small children were airlifted out China and taken to Travis Air Force base to undergo a 14-day coronavirus quarantine.
She and her two small children, who were visiting relatives in China when the coronavirus outbreak began, were among the 180 evacuees freed from quarantine Monday and allowed to go home.
“All of these individuals have been medically cleared and CDC officials have lifted their quarantine orders,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a press release. “It is important to know that these people being released from quarantine pose no health risk to the surrounding community, or to the communities they will be returning to.”
The first buses left Travis for Sacramento International Airport early Monday morning. A second group of buses would be heading to San Francisco International later in the morning.
Yanjun and her children, who lives in San Diego, were on the first bus to depart the base. Her husband, Ken Burnett, was awaiting then at the airport.
“I’ve been waiting for this since the beginning,” she said as she hugged her two young children and husband.
Among the evacuees were Daisy Roth and her two daughters — age 5 and 11 months — who were traveling back to Wisconsin.
Despite the long detour of spending two weeks in quarantine at Travis AFB, the girls were still smiling when they arrived by bus to SFO.
“We are just tired from the trip,” said Roth.
Because of high risk of exposure to coronavirus, they were screened daily during their quarantine.
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Currently there are no flights between SFO and mainland China. Airlines have eliminated those flights and have limited flights to Hong Kong through March.
“When we look at this time of year, normally there are about 90 flights nonstop per week from SFO to mainland China and Hong Kong. That’s now been reduced by about 80 percent. So a fairly significant schedule reduction,” SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel.
Two more buses of evacuees are scheduled to leave Travis AFB on Wednesday, with one headed to SFO and a second bus headed to Sacramento International Airport.