PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Hundreds of Americans onboard a cruise ship under quarantine in Japan have returned to the United States. They now face another two-week quarantine at US military bases. Not among those who returned overnight Sunday was a couple from Forest Grove.
Kent and Rebecca Frasure are in their second week of being quarantined in Japan. Rebecca tested positive for the coronavirus and was hospitalized in Japan, while her husband, who tested negative, stayed on board the “Diamond Princess” nearby. When the U.S. State Department sent two charter flights to pick up the American passengers and bring them back on Sunday, Kent opted to stay behind, not wanting to leave behind his wife of eleven years.
“We will figure out what we need to do once she gets released,” said Kent. “But she’s pretty good. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster for her because we were really hoping we could go home on the plane that had all the Americans that were evacuated.”
Rebecca posted a video to her Facebook page on Sunday after the Americans were evacuated from the cruise ship in which she called her own quarantine “unacceptable.”
“We found out today that in the course of the evacuations that they transported 14 people who tested positive for the virus,” she said in the 4-minute video. “The US government needs to come back and bring us home. They left 40-plus Americans in Tokyo.”
Rebecca continues to not show symptoms, but has still tested positive for the coronavirus. She will be tested again this week and needs to have two negative tests in a row before she can be released from the hospital. She and Kent regularly FaceTime from their separate quarantine locations.
Kent said the crewmembers onboard the “Diamond Princess” cruise ship have been doing an amazing job. For him, it’s a waiting game.
“We just want to figure out what’s next from the US government—what do we do to get home,” said Kent. “We heard there is another flight on the fourth of March. I am due to get off the ship either the 21st or the 22nd.”
When the coronavirus was first discovered on the ship earlier this month, everyone on board had their temperature taken and their mouths swabbed to test for the virus. The ship was then put under a 14-day quarantine and docked at the Yokohama port. When the quarantine is lifted at the end of this week, Kent will have to figure out where to stay in Japan for another week and a half until the next flight leaves for America.
“We are hearing some reports [that] if hotels know you are from the ship, they won’t accept you, so hopefully we don’t end up homeless for a week,” said Kent.
For now, the Frasures said they are taking it day by day.
“It’s become a definite battle of the wits,” said Kent. “It’s hard to just be in a weird situation and not have answers.”
Back at home, neighbors, friends, and family have rallied around the Frasures, helping look after their pets and home. Kent said both his and Rebecca’s employers have been supportive of their “very unique situation,” and said their jobs are not at risk which is a big relief to both of them.