BREAKING NEWS August Complex: 152 structures destroyed in Trinity County Full Story
BREAKING NEWS Lassen County moves into less restrictive COVID-19 tier Full Story
SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

US to evacuate Americans on cruise ship quarantined in Japan from coronavirus outbreak

The US government is preparing to evacuate Americans who have been quarantined on a cruise ship in Japan for over a week, after dozens of people on board tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month.

Posted: Feb 15, 2020 11:43 AM

(CNN) -- The US government is preparing to evacuate Americans who have been quarantined on a cruise ship in Japan for over a week, after dozens of people on board tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month.

The US embassy in Tokyo on Saturday sent an email to Americans on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship detailing plans for a voluntary evacuation for US citizens and their immediate family from the ship to take place Sunday evening local time.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the US' plans.

Over 3,600 people, including 428 Americans, have been stuck on the cruise ship docked in Yokohama since February 4 in what has become the largest outbreak of the virus outside of mainland China. At least 24 Americans are among the 219 people infected with coronavirus aboard the Diamond Princess cruise.

The email from the US embassy, obtained by CNN from a passenger onboard the ship, says that the US government "recommends, out of an abundance of caution, that US citizens disembark and return to the United States for further monitoring."

Those who choose to return to the United States on the charter aircraft will be required to undergo another 14 days of quarantine. "We understand this is frustrating and an adjustment, but these measures are consistent with the careful policies we have instituted to limit the potential spread of the disease," the email reads.

Charter aircraft will arrive in Japan in the evening of February 16, according to the email. Buses will transport the Americans directly from the Yokohama port to an unspecified airport.

Passengers choosing to return on the charter flight will be screened for symptoms of the virus.

Americans who have already tested positive for coronavirus, as well as those showing symptoms of the virus, will not be able to board the aircraft, and will continue to receive treatment in Japan.

The aircraft will land in the US at Travis Air Force Base in California, with some passengers continuing onward to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Roughly 380 Americans and their families on the ship will be offered seats on two charter planes to the US organized by the State Department, Henry Walke, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections, told the Journal on Friday.

Those who choose not to take the charter flights "will be unable to return to the United States for a period of time," which the CDC will have final say in the matter.

The Japanese government said Saturday that it "appreciates" the US' decision to offer voluntary evacuation to American citizens onboard the Diamond Princess.

"The Government of Japan believes that the measures taken by the U.S. Government will help mitigate the Government of Japan's burden regarding medical response in the 'Diamond Princess' and appreciates such measures," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Saturday.

Other passengers on the Diamond Princess will be disembarked over several days beginning February 21, and the crew will likely begin their own quarantine once all passengers have left the ship, Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, told passengers in a letter read by the ship's captain.

Passengers who have met the Japanese Ministry of Health's criteria for being at high-risk of getting infected with the virus have been allowed to disembark from the ship and spend the remainder of their quarantine ashore in Japanese government housing.

Since it was first detected in Wuhan, China, in December, the novel coronavirus, officially known as Covid-19, has killed more than 1,500 people and infected more than 67,000 people globally, the vast majority in mainland China.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 790096

Reported Deaths: 15056
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2614466366
Riverside574191162
San Bernardino52649908
Orange522011128
San Diego44925760
Kern31509354
Fresno27769355
Sacramento21628383
Alameda20641374
Santa Clara20511297
San Joaquin19841415
Stanislaus16351337
Contra Costa15958201
Tulare15599256
Ventura12406143
Imperial11583314
San Francisco1080799
San Mateo9598143
Monterey955067
Santa Barbara8880110
Merced8750134
Kings743077
Sonoma7112114
Marin6591112
Solano617555
Madera439162
Placer348841
San Luis Obispo339327
Butte276435
Yolo275454
Santa Cruz22188
Sutter164210
Napa162613
San Benito131011
Yuba11187
El Dorado10734
Mendocino85118
Lassen7350
Shasta70914
Glenn5503
Nevada5116
Colusa5106
Tehama5094
Lake49210
Humboldt4856
Calaveras31114
Amador28616
Tuolumne2214
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1610
Del Norte1361
Mariposa752
Plumas490
Modoc240
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Few Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 84°
Oroville
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 89°
Paradise
Few Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 84°
Chester
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 78°
Red Bluff
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 85°
Willows
Few Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 84°
Air quality is looking a bit better this morning, and we'll be staying warm for your first afternoon of the fall season. We'll be a little cooler and have a chance for some showers on Thursday. Dry and hotter conditions return for your weekend.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events