Officials are preparing for the possibility that as many as 1,000 additional Americans will need to be flown out, said one official, beginning with flights as soon as Monday. The officials also cautioned that the situation is rapidly evolving and could change.
HHS referred questions to the State Department. A State Department spokesperson confirmed that additional evacuations were being planned.
“The Department of State is working with the U.S. Government interagency and [People’s Republic of China] counterparts on staging additional flights for U.S. citizens to return to the United States from Wuhan,” the spokesperson said.
The department urged U.S. citizens in China to enroll the Smart Traveler Enrollment program at step.state.gov to receive the latest updates on the evacuation flights from Wuhan.
The coronavirus has killed more than 200 in China. There are more than 8,000 confirmed cases globally, including six in the United States.
CDC officials during a briefing said even individuals who have been exposed to the virus and tested negative may be capable of transmitting it to others and develop symptoms later.
Some 241 people in the United States have been under investigation for the virus. In addition to the six confirmed cases, 114 people tested negative and 121 are still pending, according to the CDC website.
Separately, Delta, American and United announced they are temporarily suspending all flights to China in the wake of the public health warnings, including a State Department Do Not Travel advisory issues late Thursday.
Brianna Ehley and Sarah Owermohle contributed to this report.