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Bloomington couple continues stay in quarantine
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Bloomington couple continues stay in quarantine

Barbara May are onboard the Grand Princess

In this image provided by Bloomington resident Barbara May, the Grand Princess is shown docked in the Port of Oakland in California. The cruise ship is carrying over a dozen people infected with the coronavirus.

DOBBINS, Ga., — Jordan and Barbara May continue to be quarantined at a Georgia Air Force Base and have mixed emotions as some of their former cruise ship mates begin returning to their homes.

The Mays, from Bloomington, are among 51 Illinois residents under quarantine at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Ga., after having spent more than two weeks on the Grand Princess, a cruise ship based in California. While on the cruise and returning from Hawaii, a 71-year-old California man died of the coronavirus and a travel history confirmed he had been on the ship a few weeks prior to the trip the Mays were on. Tests were ordered for crew members and some passengers, which indicated that 19 crew members and two passengers tested positive for COVID-19 and are now receiving medical care.

After several days of being quarantined in their room, the passengers were evacuated from the ship and transferred to air force bases in California, Georgia and Texas for what was believed to be a 14-day quarantine. But already, some of the passengers from other states are being transported to their homes.

“They are going to travel by bus to Lexington, Kentucky and then, their family members are expected to pick them up, take them to their homes and be under self-quarantine for another 14 days. But it doesn’t look like any of us from Illinois are going home,” Barb reported Sunday.

It wasn’t the first time Barb has been disappointed after arriving in Georgia on Friday. Issues with food and communication resulted in pleas for help.

“Overall, we are coping, we are managing, we are dealing with it,” she said. “I have talked with a lot of people on the phone including legislative offices and even the governor’s office. I think I might just cut back on trying to get help and just deal with it.”

Barb said they are now getting food and water consistently and the meal deliveries have improved over the first couple of days. A lack of information continues to be frustrating.

Also, a lack of luggage.

“Some people are getting calls saying it is in California, and some say it is in Texas,” she said. “We really aren’t sure. We’re living with what we have. But we are fine. I feel bad for everyone in here.”

While at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has oversight of the quarantined guests. Guests will have their temperature checked by medical staff each day and be given a digital thermometer to check if needed. If a temperature exceeds 100.4F, they are required to contact medical staff.

The quarantined guests are allowed to leave their rooms, but are required to wear masks when outside and maintain a distance of at least six feet from others. Staff members wear hazmat outfits and latex gloves.

Barb said she hopes to return home soon, but one way or another, the quarantine stay at Dobbins is scheduled to end March 26.

Contact Kevin Barlow at (309) 820-3238. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_barlow

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