Share this story...
Latest News

Quarantine continues in US for Valley doctor who was stuck on cruise ship

Buses carrying American passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship leave a port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. A group of Americans are cutting short a 14-day quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo, to be whisked back to America. But they will have to spend another quarantine period at a U.S. military facility to make sure they don't have the new virus that's been sweeping across Asia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

PHOENIX — A Valley doctor who was quarantined aboard a cruise ship off the coast of Japan for two weeks because of a coronavirus outbreak is back in the United States, but her time in confinement isn’t over.

Dr. Sommer Gunia, a Scottsdale surgeon, and her family arrived at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio on Monday with the expectation of being able to leave their rooms, exercise and choose whether to wear masks before eventually returning home.

Instead, a health professional told Gunia that they were to stay in their rooms on the base until further notice and would be on a timed schedule to go outside.

“We’re both still healthy, but it’s a bitter pill to swallow when you’ve made it through 12 days of quarantine and find out you’re gonna have to do it all over again,” Gunia told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News about her and her husband on Tuesday.

Gunia said nobody in her family has experienced symptoms, so they’re just playing a waiting game again. She said her parents were tested for the virus and came back negative.

They were among the approximately 3,700 people stuck aboard the Diamond Princess in Yokohama Harbor for two weeks.

The ship carrying 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew members returned to Yokohama Feb. 4 after a round-trip cruise, but passengers weren’t allowed to disembark because a person on a previous voyage had been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Initial screenings found 10 people aboard with the virus and that number grew significantly in the weeks that passed.

The virus has infected more than 73,000 people worldwide and killed about 1,900, mostly in China.

“We’re happy to be in back in the United States and we got a really warm welcome coming home coming off the plane,” Gunia said. “That was very uplifting.”

Arizona's Morning News

Show Podcasts and Interviews

Reporter Stories