A Lane County man who was on a Holland America Line cruise — which was turned away from countries due to concerns of coronavirus — has arrived home in the Eugene area after breaking quarantine.
Frank King, who lives near Leaburg, was hired as a comedian on the MS Westerdam ship that was traveling from Hong Kong to Shanghai. After being stranded at sea for two weeks because five ports refused to allow their cruise ship to dock because of coronavirus fears before being allowed to dock in Cambodia.
On Sunday, King flew out of Cambodia before knowing the results of his swab test, which was administered to passengers and crew members. He arrived in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Monday afternoon, and landed at the Eugene Airport a little after midnight Tuesday.
“I’ve been told by the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) representative from the U.S. on the ground there in Cambodia that, ‘Look, no fever, you’re past the 14 days. They can’t keep you,'” King told The Register-Guard on Tuesday about leaving the country.
There also were swab tests administered to staff and passengers who were staying in at a hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Tuesday afternoon, Business Insider reported that the results of the first 406 people tested from the hotel came back negative for the coronavirus. The cruise line said these people were subsequently cleared to “travel home and arrangements are being made for those guests.”
King left to return to the U.S. before the results of that test came back, but King said he was within the first hundred or so people to get that test, so he said he would be included in this cleared group.
“What they wanted me to do was wait for those results,” he said. “There’s no legal reason they can make you stay in Cambodia.”
On his way out of the hotel, King said he told those trying to keep him from leaving: “Arrest me or I’m out of here.”
King said since returning to the West Coast he has been in contact with his doctor. Local doctors don’t have tests for this strain coronavirus available.
This story is developing and will be updated.
Follow Jordyn Brown on Twitter @thejordynbrown or email at email@example.com.
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