MARIETTA, Ga. — More than 250 passengers who were on the Grand Princess cruise ship off of California arrived at Dobbins Air Reserve Base early Wednesday morning. The passengers will be quarantined at the base for 14 days after being possibly exposed to the novel coronavirus on the cruise ship.
More than 3,000 people were kept on-board the ship, which was not permitted to dock in California after 21 people tested positive for coronavirus.
On Sunday, Gov. Brian Kemp said 34 Georgians and some additional American citizens from the eastern United States who were on the Grand Princess would be securely transferred to Dobbins.
"Prior to arriving here, the passengers were medically screened by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," said a release from the Air Force Reserve. "The passengers who were asymptomatic were transferred here and other federal military installations for COVID-19 testing and quarantine."
Other Grand Princess passengers were taken to Travis Air Force Base in northern California, Miramar Marine Base in San Diego and Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio for testing and quarantine.
Dobbins Air Reserve Base is located about 15 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta. According to the release, quarantined individuals do not show symptoms of illness and are quarantined as a precaution.
The passengers will stay at Dobbins for 14 days to make sure they are free of the virus. The state was hoping to transfer the 34 Georgians to their homes for their quarantine.
One of those Georgians is Jane Wilson, from Houston County, south of Macon. She posted a photo of herself on Facebook on Tuesday afternoon, wearing a colorful mask, calling herself a rebel.
She said that after all of the passengers were confined to their cabins on the ship, they were taken out and placed on buses, shoulder-to-shoulder -- no social distance -- as they were driven to where they would board the plane for Georgia.
Their screening, so far, she said, had amounted to someone taking their temperature and asking them how they felt.
According to the Air Force Reserve, should anyone be identified as ill during their quarantine period, the Department of Health & Human Services, the lead federal agency, has procedures in place to transport them to a local civilian hospital.
Ahead of their intended arrival, officials in Cobb County stressed to the community the low risk the situation will present to the public.
"We live here with you in this community, so we have same concerns you do and we want to make sure that because you are our neighbors, we want to provide we every possible measure to assure you that we're working very closely with federal and state governments to take every precaution to address this quarantine situation," Cobb Commission Chairman Mike Boyce said in a video statement posted to YouTube on March 8.
He mentioned that none of the passengers coming to Dobbins had tested positive for coronavirus.
The Department of Health and Human Services is taking responsibility for all of the passengers once they arrive at Dobbins, where they will allegedly be tested and placed under quarantine for 14 days.
In Georgia, the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains low, according to officials. At 11Alive, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.11Alive.com/Coronavirus.
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