13 cruise passengers exposed to coronavirus flown to Omaha

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha said Monday they have received 13 people from a cruise ship in Japan who were part of a larger group of American citizens brought back to the U.S.

Chris Kratochvil, an executive director of the Global Center for Health Security at the medical center, said 12 of the people are in quarantine. They currently have no symptoms of the coronavirus.

One man is in a biocontainment unit to receive a higher level of care because he had a cough and other symptoms in addition to another chronic illness that places him at higher risk for complications.

All the travelers will remain at the university hospital for at least 14 days.

The new patients came as 57 US evacuees continued to be quarantined at a Nebraska National Guard training base just southwest of Omaha.

In the latest case, the hospital received a call from federal officials at 2 a.m. Monday indicating they would be receiving patients, many of whom had initially tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Omaha facility has a contract with the federal government to provide quarantine facilities for disease outbreaks.

The 13 patients have been retested and results should be known in a matter of hours.

Hospital officials said although all were tired from lengthy travel, the patients were in good spirits upon arrival.