Fresno mom able to return to U.S. after Coronavirus quarantine during cruise

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Seventy-eight-year-old Della Metzler and her 81-year-old sister, Sally Oberst, boarded the Princess Diamond on January 20 for what was supposed to be a fun and memorable two week trip around Japan.

But when the cruise ship arrived in Tokyo, the women learned they were not allowed to leave due to passengers testing positive for the coronavirus. Lori Metzler stayed in contact with her mom, who lives with her in Fresno, as the quarantine began.

"I'm talking to her, and I hear my aunt in the background saying, 'We have to go to the hospital. I tested positive,'" Lori said.

Lori says her mom was allowed to go to the hospital with her sister on February 4, but they have been separated ever since.

"I'm worried about just being alone because they're in two hospital rooms," Lori said. "They can't see each other. She has four walls and a window, that's it."

Lori says her mother also has diverticulitis, which has made it difficult for her to eat, so she's concerned about her physical health as well.

She was hoping her mom would be among the nearly 400 Americans from the cruise ship being offered seats on a charter flight scheduled to leave for California Sunday evening, Japan time.

She's been working with Congressman Jim Costa's office to try to navigate the process from more than 5,000 miles away.

"It's nice having that advocate trying to get her back home, Lori said. "Even though she won't be here with me, she'll still be home."

And we have a positive update to this story Sunday morning. Lori told Action News that her mom did get a spot on that charter flight back to the United States.

RELATED: Coronavirus update: Americans from quarantined cruise ship back in U.S.

The plane is scheduled to land first at Travis Air Force Base in Solano County. All passengers on board will be required to complete another 14-day quarantine.
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