67 additional people on the Diamond Princess Cruise ship have been confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus as two Santa Clarita residents prepared to be evacuated Sunday.
The newly confirmed cases bring the total number of coronavirus cases onboard to 286.
The updated numbers come less than 24 hours after KHTS Radio co-owners Carl Goldman and Jeri Seratti-Goldman received an email from the U.S. embassy in Tokyo that they will be flown back to their home country by the end of the weekend.
“To fulfill our government’s responsibilities to U.S. citizens under our rules and practices, as well as to reduce the burden on the Japanese healthcare system, the U.S. government recommends, out of an abundance of caution, that U.S. citizens disembark and return to the United States for further monitoring,” the email reads.
A chartered aircraft is set to arrive in Japan on the evening of Sunday, Feb. 16 (most likely either late night Feb. 15 or early morning Feb. 16 in Santa Clarita time) that will take the Goldmans and any other U.S. citizens directly back to the United States, according to embassy officials.
“Buses will move you and your belongings from the ship to the aircraft,” the email informs the passengers. “Passengers will be screened for symptoms and we are working with our Japanese partners to ensure that any symptomatic passengers receive the required care in Japan if they cannot board the flight.”
The aircraft is then set to land at Travis Air Force Base in California, where some people will remain, while others will proceed to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Once there, they will be placed on another 14-day quarantine.
“We understand this is frustrating and an adjustment, but these measures are consistent with the careful policies we have instituted to limit the potential spread of the disease,” the email reads. “We appreciate your understanding and cooperation and will provide all the assistance we can to support the quarantine process.”
The Diamond Princess did not inform the Goldmans of the 67 new cases, and they discovered the information via CNN reports.
“I believe they don’t want to make us even more apprehensive,” said Carl Goldman.
The Goldmans have been quarantined on the Diamond Princess Cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan since early February, after a passenger that had been on the ship was diagnosed with novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Since then, over 200 passengers and crew have been confirmed to be infected with the virus.
While the Goldman’s will return, not every U.S. citizen will. Those who have already been infected or do not wish to return yet will remain in Japan. This includes Jerri Jorgensen, one of the two people that the Goldman’s have been travelling with during their cruise.
Jorgensen was confirmed to be infected with coronavirus on Friday. She has since been sent to a hospital three hours away from the ship in Fukushima, the same area where the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster took place in 2011.Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or send an email to email@example.com. Don’t miss a thing. Get breaking KHTS Santa Clarita News Alerts delivered right to your inbox. Report a typo or error, email Corrections@hometownstation.com
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