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Tianjin foreign student on the quarantined cruise ship
Published on: 2020-02-06
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Spencer Fehrenbacher 01aCourtesy Spencer Fehrenbacher

Spencer Fehrenbacher is living in Tianjin and studying for a master's degree here, and he is onboard the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship that's now been quarantined after 10 people onboard tested positive for the coronavirus.

Fehrenbacher is an American citizen and Canadian resident from Fort Langley, British Columbia, and he said he was in good spirits. He is on the cruise with his roommate from Tianjin and two other friends.

He said that around 8:15am local time on Wednesday, the ship's captain made an announcement coronavirus infections. That's when they found out the ship would be quarantined for 14 days.

It's still unclear if passengers are going to be forced to stay in their rooms for the duration of the 14 days. "They haven't specified any details about that yet and said they are waiting for further direction from the Japanese government," Fehrenbacher says.

Ship 03Fehrenbacher was even tested for the coronavirus last night around 11:00pm on Tuesday. "A quarantine officer showed up at my door and I was taken to an empty room that was being used as a testing room," he says. "They reviewed a quarantine questionnaire that I had to complete along with all of the other passengers."

The coronavirus test was fairly simple: a swab on the left and right sides of his throat for about 10 seconds. The nurse who administered the test told them they were testing more 100 people. The individual also being tested in the photos is Dorian and another person that wishes to remain anonymous; both are Fehrenbacher's friends and classmates whom he's traveling with.

Fehrenbacher was tested because, about a week ago, he says he went to the ship's hospital for a sore throat and fever. As for his mood, knowing that the ship has been quarantined, Fehrenbacher says it's "pretty good."

"The Princess crew has been incredible in their support and communication up to this point," he says. "They're providing complimentary internet to everyone onboard to ensure that everyone is able to communicate with family and friends." He says they are also working to deliver food and water to every single cabin."

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