UPDATE 7 P.M.
Calhoun County officials expect cruise ship passengers who test positive for the Coronavirus to arrive Wednesday to the FEMA Center in Anniston.
Calhoun County 911 posted to their Facebook account:
Calhoun County 911 is closely monitoring the plan to transfer quarantined patients testing positive for coronavirus from aboard the Diamond Princess Cruise ship to Anniston, Alabama. These patients are due to arrive on Wednesday at the FEMA Center for Domestic Preparedness facility at Fort McClellan. We are assured that proper containment measures are in place.
ANNISTON, Ala. (WIAT) — Saturday the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the FEMA Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston will be used as a place for some of the American passengers from the cruise ship in Japan.
The full statement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services follows:
HHS is taking precautions to protect the health of all Americans from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). To that end, HHS and FEMA agreed to use a federal facility, the FEMA Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama, as a place for some of the American passengers from the Diamond Princess to stay. These are passengers whom the federal government evacuated back to the U.S. from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.
The passengers who will stay at the Center tested positive for COVID-19, although at this time they either do not have symptoms or have mild flu-like symptoms. Any of the evacuees who become seriously ill will be transported to pre-identified hospitals for medical care. Under the HHS-FEMA agreement, the Center for Domestic Preparedness will provide the housing, and HHS will provide basic medical care and all other support services for these returning passengers. Passengers will stay in a separate area from the Center’s training participants and will remain at the Center until they are medically cleared.
The Center has unique facilities and routinely offers week-long, hands-on training for large groups of professionals from federal, state and local emergency management agencies, hospitals, public health agencies, and law enforcement agencies on disaster response.