CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Nearly three weeks after boarding the Grand Princess cruise ship, one Chesterfield couple were finally let off Tuesday as health officials continue to monitor coronavirus patients who were also on the ship.
Judy and David McClelland were on their way to Hawaii when the outbreak prompted an emergency response on the Grand Princess after two passengers and 19 crew members tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Thousands of passengers were confined to their cabins for weeks while off the California coast. The ship docked in Oakland on Monday morning, giving the McClelland’s hope that they would be allowed to get off the ship.
Anxiously waiting with their suitcases packed, the McClelland’s hopes were snatched after being told they would be there for at least another night. Their daughters told 8News they’re relived but the whole process was a “logistical nightmare.”
“It’s atrocious, I understand what they’re doing is a logistical nightmare, but it’s not working, the process they’re doing is not working,” Meghan White, one of their daughters, said over the phone on Tuesday. “They were told twice yesterday that they were going to be let off the ship.”
White said her parents’ luggage was taken away and they were escorted to the holding area where they waited for hours.
“Everyone in line was told that nobody else was getting off the ship that night and to all go back to their room,” she told 8News.
Judy McClelland was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and David is diabetic but White said her parents are not displaying any symptoms and are not in immediate danger. She did say her mother is missing vital chemotherapy appointments.
“It’s taken a toll on them emotionally, mentally, physically,” White told 8News.
White shared that her parents were tested for the virus once they were off the ship and that the quarantine process has begun. The McClelland’s will be transported to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia, where they will stay for at least two weeks.
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