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Only Texans will be quarantined at Lackland amid coronavirus concerns, mayor says

Twenty-four Texan evacuees from a cruise ship that was off the California coast arrived Tuesday night.

SAN ANTONIO — As coronavirus evacuees continue arriving in San Antonio, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said via social media on Wednesday that those quarantined at local military bases for more than three days will now be limited to Texans. 

The announcement comes a little over a week after Nirenberg declared a public health emergency over coronavirus fears in San Antonio. On Tuesday night, a plane with several dozen passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship arrived in San Antonio – with another expected sometime Wednesday evening – to begin quarantine at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. 

KENS 5 has confirmed that 24 of the 98 passengers who arrived Tuesday night are Texans. 

"Those who are not Texans will be moved closer to their respective homes for the remainder of their quarantines," Nirenberg said in a statement posted on social media, which he said is the result of new discussions between local leaders, state leaders and officials from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. "This is being done with respect to concerns that San Antonio officials have voiced about capacity at our local health facilities."

According to Nirenberg, the city has the means to test no more than 500 people. 

Additionally, evacuee flights will now be going directly to JBSA; according to the mayor's office, "there will likely be additional flights coming into Lackland over the next day or two." 

Meanwhile, any Texans under the quarantine at the air force base who show symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent to the Texas Center for Infectious Disease to be treated. 

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