The mix-up at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar that led to one coronavirus patient mistakenly being released to the general quarantine was the result of "miscommunication," according to a doctor at UC San Diego Health.
“There was no mislabeling. There were potentially miscommunication issues," said Dr. Randy Taplitz at a Thursday press conference. "That has all been resolved and this will not happen moving forward.”
A local health official said the female patient was discharged from isolation and then notified by the Centers for Disease Control that her test results were mislabeled due to pseudonyms used for privacy reasons.
The patient was then returned to MCAS Miramar, which is serving as a quarantine facility for U.S. citizens who recently traveled to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus.
The incident led to other patients in the general quarantine to create a petition demanding more oversight at the facility.
Patty Maysent, CEO of UC San Diego Health said that as the region’s only academic medical center, UC San Diego Health has a team of multidisciplinary experts on staff “fully prepared to care for the complex patients that are here as the result of this pandemic.”
She said the nation’s leading experts on infectious disease are working at the facility, leading the efforts against the coronavirus in San Diego. UC San Diego Health is working with the CDC, CDPH and San Diego County to provide the best care possible to patients, she added.
“This is what we’re here for and we accept responsibility,” Maysent said. “And we are willing to take on this effort to try to care for these very challenging patients.”
Two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in San Diego County as of Thursday.
Both patients were among the 232 Americans evacuated from Wuhan, China, last week and flown to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to complete a 14-day federal quarantine. The patients were on separate planes and do not have any relation, according to UC San Diego.
The first case was confirmed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday. The woman who tested positive arrived at MCAS Miramar on Feb. 5 and was taken to the hospital the same day, along with three other patients, because she was exhibiting cough or fever that warranted evaluation.
The second case was confirmed on Wednesday and little information on the patient has been released.
The outbreak has infected over 60,000 people and killed more than 1,300 worldwide.