Coronavirus: Dayton couple on cruise ship with 21 confirmed cases

A Dayton couple is on board a Princess Cruises ship offshore of California where there are 21 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

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Alan Kilbourne and Amy Doty-Kilbourne, the couple aboard the Grand Princess, said on Saturday they are in good spirits, but have been in the dark — hearing more information through the media before getting word directly from the ship.

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“We are still keeping ourselves busy through exercise, movies and texting with family and friends,” Alan said Saturday afternoon. “We just got phone service about five minutes ago, but it goes in and out.”

Two passengers and 19 crew members tested positive for the virus, Vice President Mike Pence said in a statement on Friday.

The Kilbournes boarded the ship on Feb. 21. Alan said they were originally supposed to get off on Saturday after four days at sea from Hawaii, with a short port stop in Mexico.

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“We were diverted directly to San Francisco Bay where we have sat in limbo,” Alan said. “We still have had no words from the ship’s captain on any updates since last evening, saying no progress has been made for our situation.”

Friday morning, “CBS This Morning” showed a low-flying helicopter delivering test kits to the ship.

“We are not sick or have any symptoms,” Alan said. “Awaiting our fate right now, we know everyone is working toward a solution. … We actually had a puzzle competition with new friends on the ship using messenger. That helps knowing our fellow passengers are doing OK as well.”

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Both Alan and Amy work as nurses. Amy is a nurse at Soin and also serves as a reservist, and Alan is in the Guard and also works at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as an analyst, Alan said.

“No updates at all, we hope today we will hear something,” Alan said Saturday.

Princess Cruises confirmed that 45 people were screened as of Saturday morning. The company said in a tweet that it was awaiting further instructions on how to proceed.

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Alan said prior to Thursday, there was no there was no indication of any illness and there was only extra precautions of heightened hand hygiene.

“Thursday morning, passengers were not allowed to self serve any longer and you would not receive a plate unless they watched you wash your hands,” Alan said. “There were crew members cleaning and wiping down all surfaces at that point as well. We have been given internet, our basic means of communication.”

Since Thursday afternoon, Alan said passengers have been quarantined to their rooms.

“Food appears to be rationed right now,” Alan said. … “We do have a window to look out, not much to see at this point. We never know when meals might be delivered, we just anticipate a knock on the door for hours. The first night, I believe it was around 2 a.m. Ohio time, which we were very exhausted by that time.”

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