Oregon couples stuck in quarantine far from home


The coronavirus has kept a Forest Grove couple and a Beaverton couple from returning home

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Beaverton couple is counting the days until they can return home from inside a coronavirus quarantine facility in Nebraska.

There are more than 63,850 confirmed cases of the virus in mainland China, of which 1,380 have died.

There are 15 confirmed cases in the United States.

Amanj Habibi and his wife, Chunxiao, were on the last flight chartered by the U.S. government out of Wuhan, China where they were visiting her family.

Officials confirmed on Thursday that a person with coronavirus was on that same flight.

Thursday marked the seventh day Amanji and Chunxiao had spent living in dorm-like rooms on a military base in Omaha. They expected to stay under quarantine at the facility for at least another week.

“Every morning starting at 9 o’clock till 12 o’clock, there’ss a check-in,” Amanji told KOIN 6 News. “We get our temperatures checked and we also grab our breakfast beforehand and we just do a quick check-in.”

He said they gather for a townhall meeting every afternoon at 1:30.

“Any questions we have in general — we can meet up at that town hall meeting and ask those questions,” he said.

Netflix and card games have helped Amanji and Chunxiao pass the time as they wait to go home, they said.

A military base in Omaha where a Beaverton couple has been quarantined due to the coronavirus, Feb. 13, 2020. (Courtesy of Amanji Habibi)

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the couple they’re hopeful no one at the base is infected and they won’t have to extend the quarantine period.

Normal life has also been put on hold for Forest Grove couple, Kent and Rebecca Frasure. Rebecca was being monitored on Thursday at a hospital in Japan after contracting the coronavirus while the couple was on a cruise. Kent remained quarantined on the ship for the 10th-straight day on Thursday.

A total of 218 cases — largest concentration outside of China — have been reported on the ship which is moored off the Japanese coast.

Kent told KOIN 6 News he didn’t know when he’d be reunited with his wife but that doctors planned to retest her for the virus on Friday.

“Looks like there’s a path forward for her to be able to get out of the hospital if she tests negative on those, she could be out before I am,” he said.

Meanwhile, officials with the Oregon Health Department told KOIN 6 they’re taking working on providing support to those who think they may be at risk. However, experts say the risk to people in Oregon is low. There are no confirmed cases in the state.

“We have a public health system that’s dealt with these things in the past and that is working to protect the public and that is working to help people who might be at risk so they know what to do so they can get the care they need quickly and without exposing other people,” said Dr. Richard Leman, a physician with Oregon Public Health. “That’s how we’re going to control this if we do get a case here. We may, but we don’t have it.”

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