Cruise ship passenger ‘shocked’ to learn Columbus COVID-19 patient was on same ship

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Public Health is now reporting its first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a Capital City resident.

Columbus’ health commissioner said the man is recovering at home in isolation and is not a case of community spread.

Columbus Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts said the man was recently on a cruise.

One central Ohio woman said she was on the same cruise as the patient. She spoke to NBC4 via telephone because she did now want to reveal her identity. She said she is now under self-quarantine.

“I was shocked,” she said. “I was pretty surprised”

The central Ohio woman said she found out about Columbus’ first confirmed case after a friend told her about Saturday morning’s news conference with Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and Roberts.

“We have been planning for this moment and we will continue to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” Roberts said.

Roberts said the case involves a 49-year-old man who recently went on a Carnival Valor cruise ship out of New Orleans.

According to Roberts, the cruise left on Feb. 29 and returned on March 5.

The victim got back to Columbus on March 6 and started feeling symptoms the next day.

He was tested Thursday and the positive result came back Friday night.

“I’m self-quarantining myself just to be safe for those around me,” said the woman.

The woman from the cruise says she feels totally fine and has not shown any symptoms.

Columbus Public Health is asking any central Ohioan who was also on the cruise to call 614-645-1519.

When she told Columbus Public Health that she was self-quarantining, she said they told her that was the best thing to do.

Before Saturday, she thought she was totally in the clear after her travel. 

“I just thought, ‘Oh crap,’” she said. “We thought we got through our cruise safe and without concern.”

As for the confirmed case, officials worked overnight to contact those who know him, traveled with him or had contact with him.

Columbus Public Health said two household contacts are in quarantine and two contacts showing symptoms are in isolation.

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