SAN FRANCISCO -- The ABC7 News I-Team has confirmed that a majority of passengers from the Grand Princess who are quarantined at Travis Air Force base are refusing to be tested for coronavirus.
Their release is just days away.
After 21 passengers and crew aboard the Grand Princess tested positive for coronavirus, the rest of the passengers were quarantined off the coast of San Francisco for five days, then went into quarantine at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield for 14-day; it ends next week. But, the Grand Princess passengers are ready to go home and that's one big reason why two-thirds of them are refusing to be tested for coronavirus.
86-year-old Carmen Kilcullen spoke with the I-Team by phone about why she's declining the test. "We didn't know for sure when we would get the results, in case results came in later, we'd have to stay."
Carmen and her 84-year-old husband, Larry, lost their house in the 2017 Tubbs Fire and they can't wait to get back to their new home.
In this notice to "all quarantine residents" at Travis, they were given "the opportunity to be tested for COVID-19. You are not required to be tested. It will be your choice."
Only 300 of the passengers at Travis took the test; 545, including the Kilcullens, refused.
Dan Noyes: Aren't you interested in knowing your status? Your coronavirus status for sure?"
Carmen Kilcullen: "Well, we don't have any symptoms. They take our temperature, the medics take our temperature twice a day and we have- everything's normal."
"There is a potential risk especially if someone is positive or is carrying the virus and has no symptoms," says ABC7 News medical expert Dr. Alok Patel.
Patel says much uncertainty surrounds the coronavirus and that its incubation period could be longer than the 14-day quarantine. "We've also seen people have no symptoms and still test positive. And this is really tricky because we're still trying to figure out how long these asymptomatic people could still spread the infection."
In a video from Travis AFB quarantine, Alan Brast told the I-Team, As you can see, Dan, this is our room."
Grand Princess passengers Alan and Fran Brast of Danville agreed to be tested, and expect the results back any time now, well before they're set to leave quarantine this coming Tuesday.
"We definitely want to know ether or not we're putting anyone else at risk, and want to make sure we are protecting our family and friends and anybody else we come in contact with," said Brast. "To us it was important to know what the score is."
Dr. Patel tells us that no one can force the passengers to get tested at this point, but that could change if the crisis worsens. Meanwhile, other states like Florida are allowing Grand Princess passengers to quarantine at home, very frustrating to the passengers at Travis AFB we spoke with today.
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Coronavirus update: Grand Princess cruise passengers in quarantine refuse COVID-19 tests