Nearly 200 evacuees to leave coronavirus quarantine in US

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Nearly 200 evacuees prepared Tuesday to end their two-week quarantine at a Southern California military base where they have been living since flying out of China during a deadly viral outbreak.

None of those who flew into March Air Reserve Base have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, health authorities said, although one evacuee at another base had been found to have the highly infectious virus and was in hospital isolation.

The group, which includes children, arrived from China Jan. 29, taking chartered flights from Wuhan. The locked-down city of 11 million is the epicenter of the virus that has claimed more than 1,000 lives overseas.

In the United States, there have been only 13 confirmed cases, including seven in California, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health officials.

But fear of the disease has led to “unacceptable” treatment of others who work at the March airbase, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, public health officer for Riverside County, said in an open letter to the community on Monday.

The evacuees, which include U.S. State Department workers or their families, were isolated from base personnel and weren’t permitted to leave a fenced quarantine area, Kaiser said.

“People on and off the base are not at increased risk for exposure,” Kaiser said.

“There have been comments made that have been hurtful — both in person and on social media — that are often based on incorrect or incomplete information,” Kaiser said. “A few base workers have even been accosted in uniform. This is not acceptable, and needs to stop.”

Hundreds of evacuees in the past two weeks were flown to military bases in California, Texas and Nebraska, where many are still quarantined. With one exception, none have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, health authorities said.

The exception was an evacuee who flew into Marine Air Station Miramar in San Diego last week.

The adult and three other evacuees had been in hospital isolation after showing symptoms of the virus but on Sunday, federal health officials said they had tested negative and they were sent back to the base, where they joined more than 200 people who are under a 14-day quarantine.

On Monday morning, however, CDC officials informed county health officials that “further testing revealed that one of the four patients tested positive” for novel coronavirus and that person was returned to hospital isolation, UC San Diego Health said in a statement.

Another evacuee from Miramar also was hospitalized for evaluation Monday afternoon, UC San Diego Health said in a statement.

“Both patients are doing well and have minimal symptoms,” the statement said.

Five evacuees taken to Travis Air Force Base, located between San Francisco and Sacramento, were hospitalized after showing symptoms of the virus but none of those possible cases has been confirmed, authorities said.

No symptoms were reported among evacuees at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio or a Nebraska National Guard training base in Omaha.


1si announces ONE award finalists

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — One Southern Indiana has announced the finalists for the 2020 ONE Awards. 1si, which is the chamber of commerce and economic development organization for Clark and Floyd counties, says the winners in seven categories will be announced at an April 9 ceremony in Borden.

The organization says finalists in the first five categories were chosen by an independent judge panel based on business history, community involvement, response to adversity, newly-created opportunities and product or service innovation. The Economic Development Impact Award winner was selected based on information submitted at the launch of a project with regard to the impact of the project on the community at large, according to 1si.

“We were happy to see all of our finalists are of the highest caliber.  Our judges rate the finalists and that counts for 90% of the final score.  But the exciting part is when our members have their voices heard through online voting, counting for 10% of the total score – which has actually changed the outcome of past award competitions,” said Wendy Dant Chesser, president and CEO of 1si.  “The ONE Awards is one of our most popular events and we want our membership to have a stake in the winners.”   

The finalists include:

  • The Centra Credit Union WorkHub Innovation in Culture ONE Award – recognizes company culture and encompassing programs working in employee retention, diversity, workplace health and/or green initiatives.
  • arc
  • Harding, Shymanski, & Company, P.S.C.
  • Kentuckiana Wood Products, Inc.
  • The Indiana Members Credit Union Rising Star ONE Award is given to a company located or headquartered in the Southern Indiana/Louisville Metro area and experienced tremendous growth and success within its first five years.
  • ActionCOACH Bluegrass
  • Naked by Sunday
  • Taylor’s Cajun Meat Company
  • The MCM CPAs & Advisors Business of the Year ONE Award for companies with 50 or fewer employees is given to a company located or headquartered in the Southern Indiana/Louisville Metro area that demonstrates outstanding business growth and community involvement.
  • Extol Magazine
  • LL&A Interior Design
  • Voluforms
  • The Nu-Yale Nonprofit PROGRAM of the Year ONE Award highlights innovative and successful programs, initiatives or activities implemented by 1si member non-profit organizations.
  • Carnegie Center for Art & History: Youth Education Program
  • Hosparus Health Southern Indiana & Grief Counseling Center: Heart Connection Program
  • LifeSpan Resources, Inc.: Social Transportation program
  • The German American Bank Business of the Year ONE Award for companies with 51 or more employees given to a larger company, located or headquartered in the Southern Indiana/Louisville Metro area, that demonstrates outstanding business growth and community involvement.
  • Libs Paving Co., Inc.
  • SIHO Insurance Services
  • The New Washington State Bank

1si will also be awarding the Rodefer Moss & Co, PLLC Economic Development Impact Project of the Year ONE Award, which is given to the expansion or attraction project having the greatest impact on our community in the past year and the Economic Development Partner of the Year to the business which has had the most positive effect on Economic Development in Clark and Floyd Counties over the past year. Online voting takes place the week of March 9, through the 1si Facebook page and website.