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Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Owensboro Couple Quarantined at Home Following Cruise

Chris and Nikki Hall

An Owensboro couple is under quarantine at their home following an eventful vacation cut short by the coronavirus.

The couple tested negative for COVID-19, but must remain quarantined at their home until Mar. 25.

Chris and Nikki Hall left for a Hawaiian cruise on Feb. 21.  Toward the end of their vacation, they learned the ship and passengers may have been exposed to the coronavirus.  They spent eight days quarantined in their room.

Credit Chris and Nikki Hall

“We were fortunate. We had a balcony and were able to go on the balcony to get fresh air, so that made a big difference," said Chris Hall.  "Princess Cruises was really good about things. We could still order drinks and food to our room and they would serve us at the door," added Nikki Hall. "We had TV, and they had lots of movies on there. They did their best to keep us entertained."

The Halls disembarked the ship in San Francisco and were flown to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia to continue serving their quarantine.  Their treatment there was nothing like what they received on the cruise ship.  Nikki said there was little food and the atmosphere felt more like a prison.

“We had two buildings we were occupying, the group of us and it was completely fenced in. You had a specific distance you could go, but I understood that with the quarantine," said Nikki. "They had big lights up to shine in the area at nighttime so they could see any movement that was happening and they had a guard there 24\7, watching us and making sure we weren't getting out of the fence."

The couple was only at the air base for a couple of days before Governor Beshear brought them home. They are now quarantined at their Owensboro home and are confined to only their bedroom, bathroom, and office.

“We have children in the home, so they have their own personal space, so they’re not allowed in those three areas at all. We’re not allowed in the same room together," Nikki explained. "Chris and I have to wear a mask if we’re trying to communicate with them, and wear gloves.”

The Halls were tested for the coronavirus on their way back to Kentucky and both tests were negative, but they’re still taking precautions until the quarantined is lifted on Wednesday.

“We have to switch out our masks every day and make notation of our temperature," commented Nikki. "We have to call or text the health department here in town to let them know everything is still good.”

The Halls have been on eight cruises and never had any problems, so despite the coronavirus, they’re ready to book the next one.  They’re chocking up this vacation to one they’ll never forget.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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