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Utahns aboard Grand Princess may soon be flown home for self-quarantine

Posted at 9:55 PM, Mar 10, 2020

The Grand Princess Cruise Ship has been docked in Oakland, California since Monday and there are Utahns still on-board.

While some passengers have been taken off the ship and bussed to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield for quarantine, others are being sent across the country for mandatory two-week quarantines.

Utahns Monica Achter and her parents are still on the ship.

"We have six people in our ground and none of us have shown any signs at all," said Achter, who set for sea on the Grand Princess on February 21. "They did bring us some tags to our room so I'm hoping that means we're getting off the ship soon, I don't know where I'm going from there."

The ship notified passengers on Wednesday that passengers and crew members had been experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. The following day all passengers were asked to quarantine in their rooms. Now, the Davis County residents are hoping to get some assistance in getting home so they can self-quarantine in a more comfortable environment.

"We talked about it today, it will be happening so the only people that will be transported are those not exhibiting symptoms, so they may have had exposure but are not exhibiting symptoms," said Utah Coronavirus Task Force Leader Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox. "They will be put on a chartered plane so they won't be exposed to other individuals, they will be flown here there will be a chartered bus that takes them to their homes and then they will self-quarantine in their homes."

Achter's roommate on the ship is getting some assistance from the State of Nevada to get home, so Achter's husband started making some phone calls and FOX 13 followed up with Lt. Governor Cox on Monday afternoon.

"Oh my husband was crying and I was crying and it was really awesome," said Achter after finding out the good news. "We're just so excited and I'm really happy to just see my family but I'm going to have to keep my distance from them."

As of late Monday, it's not known exactly when the process will begin to get Achter and her family back to Davis County. The State of Utah is working with federal partners and the State of California in the coordination efforts.