UPDATED 1:32 PM PT — Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Another case of coronavirus has been confirmed in the U.S., bringing the national total to 13 cases. A California hospital momentarily released a patient who was unknowingly infected by the coronavirus.
The UC San Diego Medical Center discharged four people Sunday after botched test results came back negative for the disease. Those patients were part of a group who recently evacuated from Wuhan, China.
“Because these individuals were in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak where there is intense and escalating community-wide spread of this novel coronavirus, we consider them at high risk of exposure,” stated Dr. Christopher Braden, Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
After being released from the hospital, they were transferred to the Miramar Air Base where all China evacuees will stay in quarantine.
However, doctors said they received new test results on Monday, which showed one patient did indeed have the virus despite already being released. That person has since been brought back to the medical center, where they will stay for treatment and observation.
Meanwhile, health officials said they do not believe the patient infected any other evacuees upon her return to base. During their arrival last week, the CDC assured they offer no risk to the surrounding community.
“We know this situation may be concerning to people in the Miramar Base and surrounding community,” stated Dr. Braden. “However, based on our experience with other coronaviruses, we don’t believe these individuals pose a risk to the community because we’re doing all that we can to take the measures to minimize any potential exposures.”
Hundreds of people have been put in quarantine at the base since the start of the outbreak last month and each person must stay for at least two weeks after their arrival. The first group of evacuees is set to return home Tuesday.