The flight, charted by the U.S. government out of the Chinese city of Wuhan, stopped at Anchorage International Airport in Alaska for refueling on Tuesday night, according to CNN, and two sets of health screenings for the virus were conducted on the passengers before the plane took off again.
“A big cheer let out on the plane when we landed,” Rhode Island passenger Patrick Stockstill told “Good Morning America” of the plane’s arrival back in the U.S.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 29, 2020
According to CNN, all the passengers on board were cleared to continue on to the plane’s next destination in California. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the network that passengers may be required to stay in isolation between three days and two weeks after their arrival.
“I’m tired and exhausted mentally and physically,” the Rhode Island resident told “GMA,” “but happy to be back and just really grateful the United States government came through for us.”
Stockstill had traveled to China with his family to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
There have been 5,974 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the majority of which are in China. Seventy cases have been reported outside China. The newly discovered virus comes from the coronavirus family, which includes those that cause the common cold as well as more severe illnesses like SARS. On Monday, the CDC urged travelers to avoid all nonessential trips to China.