By Brittany Woodcock 
BELLEVILLE – Quinte residents say they’re glad that 211 Canadian evacuees are coming home to escape the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China.
The evacuees had been expected to arrive on Thursday at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, but the flight has been delayed until Friday due to weather. When they land, they’ll spend 14 days in quarantine at the Yukon Lodge hotel on the base.
Quinte residents whom QNet News spoke to this week said they’re not scared of getting the virus, and that they welcome the evacuees home.
“It doesn’t really scare me a lot. (Residents) have a better chance of catching the flu,” Trenton resident Paul Cormier said. “Welcome home!”
Dorothy Ashford-Smith, a second-year paramedic student at Loyalist College, shares that attitude.
“I think it’s good to get them out of China,” she said. “There have been a lot of deaths in China, but if (the government) keeps it quarantined then it shouldn’t spread here.
“I think it’s going to be okay. I have faith in our health-care system.”
But Ashford-Smith said she doesn’t think it’s fair that Canadian citizens are the only ones allowed on the plane. Permanent residents of Canada will not be allowed to board unless they’re accompanying a minor who is a Canadian citizen.
“Just because you don’t have a minor doesn’t mean you don’t have family here,” she said. “If China continues to hold people there, there is no way for them to get home unless the spreading of the coronavirus ends. They should be allowed home.”
QNet News posted a poll in the Facebook group Accepted: Loyalist to find out what other students think about the evacuees coming to the area.