Two Hawaii couples who were on the Diamond Princess cruise ship and currently quarantined in a California military base are free of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
Nearing the end of their second two-week quarantine at Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, Calif., Irene Tokuda, 68, from Kaneohe and her husband, Eugene, 73, have tested negative for the virus so far.
“We have all been receiving our notices because they had done the nose and throat swabs, so little by little people were receiving their notices,” said Irene Tokuda. “Fortunately me and my husband were negative, which is terrific.”
Debbie Pagan, 58, from Ewa Beach said Tuesday morning that she and husband Eric, 64, also tested negative for the virus.
Irene Tokuda said their temperatures have been taken twice a day since being quarantined on base. The quarantine is supposed to end March 1, she said.
Both couples arrived in California on Feb. 16 after nearly finishing a previous two-week quarantine on the Diamond Princess in Japan. A passenger on the ship was tested positive for the virus during the cruise that began Jan. 20, and since then over 700 people aboard have so far tested positive for COVID-19, and seven have died from it.
Tokuda has heard of others who have to restart the two-week quarantine on base because the person they were with tested positive for the virus.
Aboard the charter flight from Japan to the U.S., she said people were sitting “elbow to elbow.”
As of today, 42 Americans who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess have tested positive for the virus. There are currently 60 cases in the U.S.
Tokuda, who has been on 25 cruises, said she’s scheduled for a few more cruises in the next year, including another month on the Diamond Princess that she does not intend to skip.
“We are going to back on the Diamond Princess in December … for two 14-day back-to-back (cruises),” she said. “So no, we haven’t given up on cruising.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.