Carson City couple on cruise test negative for coronavirus

Carson City residents Steve and Zita Waclo, former passengers recently quarantined on the Grand Princess cruise ship and at the Marine Corps Station Miramar in San Diego, were informed Monday their COVID-19 test results came back negative.

The Waclos were among the 3,500 aboard the Princess Cruises’ ship approximately 50 miles off the California coast prior to docking and personally had left the ship March 11. Though they originally were meant to be sent home to Reno through Gov. Steve Sisolak’s orders, they were routed to Miramar first.

Once home, they were then mandated to additional quarantine for two more weeks and a follow-up with Carson City’s Health and Human Services, where they have been calling in twice a day to monitor their temperatures.

Steve Waclo said as they’ve been following up, the results “didn’t come as a major surprise.”

“It became 98 percent clear that we weren’t infected,” he said. “Just not knowing was troublesome.”

The Waclos either have spoken directly to nurse Judy Barlow at CCHHS or have phoned in their temperature results on a daily basis since they returned home.

As for their quarantine life since coming back to Carson City, the Waclos have returned to what they know and love in their Quail Run community, he said. Steve is tending to his 1987 Alfa Romeo convertible that sits on jackstands now, he said. He and Zita are considering making the long drive to the Bay Area to retrieve Zita’s car at first chance.

Zita for now happily is enjoying her quilting and speaking with their grandchildren. Of course, they also enjoy the other occupants of their space, their two cats who wrestle each other constantly, they said.

“Always get two of them,” Steve advised.

But as long as they remain within the confines of their 6-foot wall in their backyard, they are allowed to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors as long as they remain in quarantine, which lasts through Sunday. The couple enjoyed a bout of fresh air Monday working on some weeding in their backyard.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported coronavirus RNA had survived for up to 17 days on the Diamond Princess cruise ship before the Grand Princess ship, CNBC published. Genetic material on cabin surfaces was left from infected passengers who were symptomatic and asymptomatic, but that was prior to procedures for disinfection occurring.

Together, the Diamond Princess and Grand Princess resulted in 800 COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths.

“The big picture of how all this played out is we were better off in quarantine on the ship, in Miramar and now we’re at home and who knows what we may have encountered in our general population, and it’s been a lesson learned, too,” Steve Waclo said. “We’re going to be a lot more conscientious when we get out in the general public. Our country’s gearing up in the way Italy was. … Be safe out there.”


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