Woman Tested for COVID-19 at Camp Ashland Does Not Have Coronavirus

Feb. 14, 2020, 1:50 p.m. ·

UPDATE: The woman who developed a cough and was transported to the National Quarantine Center on the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine campus yesterday for COVID-19 testing does not have the virus.

The Nebraska Public Health Lab gave two tests to the woman 24 hours apart and both were negative. She has now returned to Camp Ashland to complete the remaining days of the quarantine with the other 56 people being monitored there.

If everyone at Camp Ashland remains without symptoms, the group will leave quarantine at 9 a.m. on February 20.

Original story (February 14)

One of the 57 rescued Americans being monitored for COVID-19 at Camp Ashland has been transfered to the National Quarantine Unit on Nebraska Medicine/University of Nebraska Medical Center Campus after exhibiting "extremely mild respiratory symptoms."

A medical team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined the adult woman, who reported a slight cough but no fever. The CDC decided to transfer her to the higher level of quarantine "out of an abundance of caution."

The woman has been tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus and the results should be back by day's end.

UNMC Director of Emergency Preparedness Shelly Schwedhelm said if the test is positive, the woman's quarantine would be extended and officials would evaluate whether to move her to the biocontainment unit that hosted Ebola patients in 2014.

The woman traveled with her family from Wuhan, China. A positive test would likely extend the quarantine for her family as well. The remaining people under quarantine at Camp Ashland are showing no symptoms and are scheduled to be released next Thursday morning.

The 57 people housed in Nebraska flew from China with a group now under quarantine at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. U.S. officials announced Thursday one of those evacuees later developed symptoms and tested positive for the coronavirus.

Two earlier U.S. cases were found among evacuees flown to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in Southern California. There are 15 total confirmed cases in the U.S.

"There will likely be additional cases in the coming days and weeks, including among other people recently returned from Wuhan," said a CDC statement. "While 195 people were discharged from quarantine on Tuesday, more than 600 people who returned on chartered flights from Wuhan remain under federal quarantine and are being closely monitored to contain the spread of the virus."

This story has been updated.