The owners of a Santa Clarita radio station were among hundreds of passengers released this weekend from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, on which hundreds of cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed.
Diamond Princess, operated by Princess Cruises in Santa Clarita, has been stationed in the port of Yokohama, Japan, since Feb. 4. It returned there after a passenger who disembarked early in Hong Kong later tested positive for the coronavirus. At least 355 people onboard tested positive for the virus during the quarantine.
The quarantine lasted 12 days before Japanese and U.S. officials determined conditions were safe for U.S. passengers to be released and transported back to the states.
Of the roughly 380 U.S. passengers onboard, 340 were transported from the ship to Haneda airport in Tokyo, where two planes flew groups to Travis Air Force Base north of San Francisco and Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas.
According to a statement released by the U.S. Embassy in Japan, “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.”
U.S. officials disclosed early Monday that 14 passengers on the flights to the U.S. had tested positive for the coronavirus. Officials received notice of the positive test results after the passengers had already left for the airport. They said the passengers did not display symptoms and were isolated in special containment areas on the planes.
All passengers on the flights will be held under quarantine at the Air Force bases for 14 more days.
Among those released were Carl Goldman and Jerri Serrati-Goldman, a Santa Clarita couple who own the radio station KHTS. The two documented their experience under quarantine on the KHTS website and in videos on Facebook Live.
“The earliest we return to our home in Santa Clarita will be March 1. We had left Santa Clarita on January 17 to begin our vacation,” Carl Goldman wrote in a KHTS blog post on Feb. 15. “Our daily movie nights and companionship has been wonderful. … We were also very concerned about our own health.”