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Byron resident quarantined on Grand Princess tells story, tests negative for coronavirus

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BYRON, Minn. (KTTC) -- Penny Louise Flavin and her sister were on the Grand Princess cruise ship scheduled to go from San Francisco to Hawaii, then to Mexico and back. However, on their way from Hawaii to Mexico they received word the ship had to quarantine.

The ship then made way for the bay area, but had to wait off the coast of California for a few days before it was allowed to dock in Oakland on March 9th.

Eventually 103 people aboard Flavin's cruise tested positive for the virus. Two have since died from the disease.

Flavin tells KTTC, when the quarantine happened, the captain was very transparent and would "offer updates sometimes four, maybe five times per day and others when needed" about what the plan was.

She says being quarantined in her room came with great service. Crew members dropped off three meals per day and any other snacks or drinks you wanted. She says they had a TV to watch and she even read five books during that time.

After docking, the sick patrons got off first, followed by California residents. When she got off the cruise ship, she says, "There were multiple government organizations there checking people, making sure we were all okay." She says most of the people taking temperatures and trying to help were volunteers.

From there, Flavin was taken to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego. She arrived on Thursday, March 12th. She was tested the following Sunday. She was put on a charter plane back home the day after that.

It took Flavin about 24 hours to actually get home. The flight made stops to let people off in Nebraska and Kansas City before eventually landing in Minnesota. She's been in self-quarantine since.

Good news came to Flavin Thursday, "I heard today from the (U.S.) Health and Human Services that my test was negative. My sister was also negative. I've had absolutely no symptoms, no signs, no problems. Doing well!"

Flavin also tells KTTC that she can't use public transportation for another five days as a precautionary measure. However, she is allowed to drive her own car to run essential errands now.

Flavin has zero complaints about the captain, the staff, or the government officials during her quarantine and transportation home. She says they were all very open and transparent while being as helpful as they could be.

For her troubles, Flavin received a full refund from Princess Cruises and got credit towards another voyage with the company equaling what she spent on certain things on the ship.

She's been on several cruises with the company and even is planning multiple cruises with the same line next year.

Zach Fuller

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