Just hours from leaving for home, Texas extends quarantine for CNY couples


SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — On Monday afternoon, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg declared a public health emergency restricting travel for anyone who has been in quarantine, specifically those who were on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The two Central New York couples that were stuck on the Diamond Princess with infected passengers with the coronavirus were due back from their second quarantine on Monday.

When Cheryl and Paul Moleksy woke up Monday on the Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas, they thought they’d be going to bed back home in Syracuse.

But just when they thought when they’d finally get to come home, an unexpected phone meeting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed their plans.

“What we found out on the phone call is that we won’t be going anywhere. That there was on going tensions between the state of Texas and San Antonio saying that we had to be tested again. We won’t be leaving today,” said Paul Molesky.

Even though thousands of people were on the same ship, the Moleskys from Syracuse and Rome stayed protected from anyone who was sick.

They aren’t showing any symptoms, but all four have been tested for the COVID-19 twice. All of those tests coming back negative.

The Moleskys left CNY on January 16. 47 days away from home and 27 of those in quarantine.

This comes after another woman who traveled from Wuhan, China. She tested negative for the COVID-19 twice, was released from quarantine at the Lackland Air Force base and then tested “slightly positive,” according to the CDC.

The San Antonio Mayor is now requesting that the Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess Cruise ship to be held in quarantine until another COVID-19 test comes back negative.

“We have an obligation as a local metropolitan health district and a city government to ensure that our public is kept safe, and we will do that if necessary,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg from San Antonio, Texas.

“It really was quite shocking…shocking to find out that we might not go home today,” Cheryl said.

The Moleskys have been following CDC quarantine protocol which includes:

  • Daily symptom and temperature checks
  • Wear facemasks
  • Maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet from others
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean rooms and surfaces

Despite negative results in the past, they’ll still have to wait it out.

“We’ve been anticipating this day. We’ve been getting much more anxious and frustrated as the time gets closer to getting home because we’re just ready to get on with it, get back to our lives after this long period of time and have things be normal,” Cheryl said.

NewsChannel 9 is staying in touch with the Moleskys as they may be tested for a third time.

According to the CDC, people who have returned from an area with widespread coronavirus more than 14 days ago and do not have symptoms are not infected with the virus. That means being around them won’t make you sick.

For more information from the CDC, click here.

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