So far, 20 of the 26 people have completed their 14-day quarantine without falling ill, said Joseph Wendelken, a spokesman for the state health department. Six others are still being monitored, he said, including 3 whose quarantine could end later today.

The quarantines are voluntary; the state is providing help with their groceries, prescriptions and other support services.

While all 16 residents who were quarantined had traveled to China, Wendelken said, none of them had been in Hubei Province, where the outbreak is centered. People traveling from Hubei Province or who are experiencing symptoms are being quarantined near their arriving international airport. 

So far, there have been no confirmed cases anyone in Rhode Island having contracted the new coronavirus, known as Covid-19.

Details of the voluntary quarantines followed announcement by public health officials in Massachusetts and statements by federal officials Tuesday urging Americans to to prepare for the virus’s likely spread in U.S.

Since late December, more than 75,000 people -- the vast majority of them in China -- have been diagnosed with Covid-D, and more than 2,000 of those people died. There have been 15 confirmed cases in the United States. There have not been any confirmed cases in Rhode Island.

“The risk level for Rhode Islanders right now remains low,” state Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott, said in a statement. “However, this is an evolving situation. For that reason, we have been taking extensive, comprehensive preparedness steps for several weeks and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”