CORONAVIRUS

Iowa grandmother on Grand Princess heads to quarantine

Cedar Falls resident and her sister were cruise ship companions

LaVina Fuller of Cedar Falls, left, and her sister, Ruth, of California, pose for a photo earlier this month in their ro
LaVina Fuller of Cedar Falls, left, and her sister, Ruth, of California, pose for a photo earlier this month in their room on the Grand Princess cruise ship. The ship had been stranded at sea for days after several crew members and two passengers tested positive for COVID-19. Now that the ship docked, Fuller and others will be quarantined for 14 days. (Photo courtesy of Ally Latta)

CEDAR FALLS — A northeast Iowa woman who was stuck on a cruise ship off the coast of California with confirmed cases of coronavirus on board will be among those quarantined on a military base, her granddaughter confirmed Monday.

LaVina Fuller, 83, of Cedar Falls, who was traveling with her sister, Ruth, on the Grand Princess cruise ship. The ship was in limbo off the coast of Oakland, Calif., since the weekend after a 71-year-old passenger died, purportedly of the COVID-19 virus, just as the ship was leaving Hawaii and headed for its final stop in Ensenada, Mexico, according to the Mercury News.

After the death, 19 crew members and two passengers tested positive for COVID-19. The ship tested only 45 people, however, and health officials were gearing up to test the remaining 3,490 passengers and crew at quarantine sites.

Complicating matters was that Fuller ran out of medication to prevent a stroke, prompting her granddaughter, Ally Latta of Cedar Falls, to post an urgent plea for help Saturday to Facebook.

“The ship is not communicating. The CA Dept. of Health is not communicating,” Latta wrote, noting she and her family also had tried contacting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coast Guard and other emergency personnel.

“She will run out tonight and could have a stroke within hours,” Latta added.

Several hours later, Latta wrote an update that Fuller had received three more days of her needed medication.

“Please continue to pray that no one else on this cruise ship gets infected with coronavirus and that my sweet family stays healthy during the next steps of quarantine and beyond,” Latta wrote.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Reached Monday, Latta said she heard her grandmother and more than 3,500 others on the ship were about to dock.

“They were told they will de-board in Oakland today and then head to Travis” Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif., Latta told The Courier.

Later Monday, Latta said the family learned Fuller will enter quarantine with her sister Ruth, with whom she had been traveling.

“Big relief for everyone,” Latta said. “We are all very thankful for everyone’s response and help getting her prescriptions. Hopefully they stay healthy during their quarantine and she can be back soon!”

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.