Knightdale couple’s honeymoon cruise turns into coronavirus quarantine

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Knightdale couple who started off celebrating their wedding anniversary aboard a cruise ship is now in quarantine for COVID-19.

​Elizabeth and Dalton Champion booked a cruise to Hawaii to celebrate 56 years of marriage.

​​”We went to Honolulu, we went to Maui, we went to Hilo and we went to Kaua’i,” Champion explained of her busy itinerary. ​​

RELATED: Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in NC

Then, their vacation took an unexpected turn when 21 people aboard the Grand Princess Cruise Ship came down with COVID-19. ​​

“We were out at sea for about two days when they announced they had suspicions of coronavirus,” she explained.

“We sat and went in a circle 50 miles off the coast of California for a couple of days before they could get everything in place to bring us in,” she said.

​​Once they got on land, Champion said everyone was put on a plane and sent to quarantine for 14 days.​

She explained, ​”We never knew where we were going. It wasn’t until we got on the plane when some man in the back hollered, ‘where are we going?'”​​

The plane took them to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia. Champion says she’s making friends, eating good and getting her temperature checked twice a day. ​​

“We can go outside as long as we have our masks on,” she said. “There’s another place across the base with a lot of people and they say they’re not getting their meals like they’re supposed to. But we have not missed a meal.”

​​Champions says her quarantine conditions are fine, but unfamiliar.

“The days are running together,” Champion said while trying to recall the timeline of events.

When asked what she misses most about home, she said, “Seeing my grandchildren and my children.”​​

In the midst of all the chaos, Champion’s spirits are high and her sense of humor in full force.

“To tell you the truth, I feel safer here than I would at home. I don’t have to go out and fight for toilet paper,” she said while laughing.​​

If they don’t become symptomatic, the Champions should be out of quarantine on March 24.

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