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Coronavirus evacuees taken to state hospital in San Antonio for testing

Passengers arrive from China Feb. 7, 2020, at Joint Base San Antonio-Kelly Field, Texas. The Department of Defense is providing temporary lodging support for up to 1,000 passengers being evacuated from China to the U.S. in response to the coronavirus outbreak there. DoD has identified blocks of rooms at March Air Force Base, Calif., Travis Air Force Base, Calif., Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and Fort Carson, Colo. Under the HHS request, DoD installations are only providing housing support. HHS is responsible for all care, transportation, and security of the passengers. DoD personnel will not be directly in contact with the passengers and these passengers will not have access to any base location other than their assigned housing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sarayuth Pinthong)

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Some evacuees at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland have been taken to the state’s Texas Center for Infectious Disease in San Antonio for coronavirus tests.

A spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services could not provide the number of patients at the facility to KTSA News, saying it may change at any time.

The department said the facility, which is primarily used for tuberculosis treatment, is being used for people who are being tested or are confirmed to have the virus but do not need to be in a regular hospital.

It is not clear what that threshold is.

“There are 22 rooms set aside in a wing of the facility closed off from the rest of the building to prevent evacuees from coming into contact with TCID staff or patients receiving tuberculosis treatment,” the department said in a statement. “All rooms have state-of-the-art capabilities including negative air pressure to isolate patients and prevent germs from spreading within the facility. Care will be provided by members of the Texas Infectious Disease Response Unit, a team of medical professionals organized by the state following the 2014 Ebola outbreak to deploy to hospitals and treat patients who may have a very serious infectious disease.”

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