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Crystal River couple in coronavirus quarantine hopeful to return home

Gay Courter in quarantine
Posted at 11:24 PM, Feb 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 11:47:51-05

CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — It's about a week into a quarantine for Phil and Gay Courter.

The Crystal River couple arrived to Lackland Air Force Base last week in Texas, after disembarking from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The vessel has been quarantined off the coast of Japan due to the coronavirus.

"We’re really grateful to be home even though it’s not Florida they’re taking care of us like we’re one of them," said Gay Courter.

She said after their 14 hour flight from Tokyo to San Antonio, they walked into an aircraft hangar to applause from military and support personnel.

"It was a moment I burst into tears because I realized gee they came for us because we’re Americans," she said.

Now they're confined to two rooms and a perimeter.

"They’re running a terrific show here it’s very harsh for us but it’s safe," Courter said.


Courter said they've been able to walk the perimeter, without interacting with anyone. They can order groceries and medication. They've been able to have items shipped to them, including a computer.

"I tell you I never thought I’d be on the inside of a fence we’re here with federal orders we leave and go to jail," she said.

Courter said the support team takes temperatures, so there's no self reporting.

"It’s all done very much to the book so we feel confident we’re gonna go back to the communities feeling like we’re okay and anybody who isn’t is gonna get excellent care," she said.

They're looking forward to being able to go home.

"If we stay healthy and we’ve had some swabs and tests and if everything comes back negative and we don’t spike a temperature then we’re supposedly good to go on March 2nd," Courter said.