US to evacuate consulate staff from Wuhan to San Francisco amid coronavirus outbreak

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Over the weekend, the State Department said it will be organizing a single flight out from the city of Wuhan, China to San Francisco amid the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In a short notice, the State Department said they will relocate people at the U.S. Consulate in Wuhan and as many private U.S. citizens as they can, in a one time flight that will arrive at SFO on Tuesday.

The Department of State is making arrangements to relocate its personnel stationed at the U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan to the United States. We anticipate that there will be limited capacity to transport private U.S. citizens on a reimbursable basis on a single flight leaving Wuhan Tianhe International Airport on January 28, 2020, and proceeding directly to San Francisco. Interested U.S. citizens in possession of valid passports should contact BeijingACS@state.gov with the information listed below. This capacity is extremely limited and if there is insufficient ability to transport everyone who expresses interest, priority will be given to individuals at greater risk from coronavirus.

Overnight, health officials in Los Angeles confirmed the second case of coronavirus in California. The first case in the state was confirmed in Orange County.

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The total number of U.S. cases of coronavirus is 5. All the U.S. cases involve patients that traveled from Wuhan, China.

Director of LA County Public Health, Barbara Ferrer, held a press conference with other county health officials Sunday morning. Ferrer said this latest case involves a resident from Wuhan, not an LA County resident.

"LA County has confirmed the first case of novel coronavirus infection. The person who is a traveler from Wuhan China and is a nonresident transited through LAX and is currently receiving medical care at a local hospital," Ferrer said.

Ferrer said the patient was planning to vacation when they started to notice symptoms. "The infected person presented themselves immediately for care at LAX airport once they noticed they weren't feeling well," Ferrer said.

Health officials said this case poses no immediate threat to the general public.

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"The risk here is considered low at this time, we have no cases of novel coronavirus in public exposure at this time," Dr. Muntu Davis said.

"There is no vaccine and people who have traveled to Wuhan China since December 29, 2019, may have been exposed and should monitor themselves for symptoms within 14 days after their return," Davis said.

Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Health officials advise the best form of protection is washing your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
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