14 Americans who left Japan on a charter flight have tested positive for the coronavirus

During the evacuation process, after passengers had disembarked the ship and initiated transport to the airport, US officials received notice that 14 passengers, who had been tested 2-3 days earlier, had tested positive for COVID-19. These individuals were moved in the most expeditious and safe manner to a specialized containment area on the evacuation aircraft to isolate them in accordance with standard protocols. 
After consultation with HHS officials, including experts from the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the State Department made the decision to allow the 14 individuals, who were in isolation, separated from other passengers, and continued to be asymptomatic, to remain on the aircraft to complete the evacuation process. 
During the flights, these individuals will continue to be isolated from the other passengers. These flights departed Japan at approximately 4:30 PM Eastern time on February 16 and will arrive in the United States later this morning. 
All passengers are being closely monitored by medical professionals throughout the flight, and any who become symptomatic will be moved to the specialized containment area, where they will be treated. 

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