Local News

Winston-Salem woman quarantined on cruise ship due to coronavirus threat

Posted February 12, 2020 7:59 a.m. EST
Updated February 12, 2020 6:48 p.m. EST

— A Winston-Salem woman on board a cruise ship outside of Japan is now being quarantined due to the threat of the coronavirus, WXII reports.

The congregation at the United Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem is praying for Candace Culcleasure, one of its members. Candace is one of 428 Americans stuck on the ship.

The ship, the Diamond Princess, ended its planned 14-day itinerary early and is currently docked off the coast of Yokohama, not far from the Japanese capital. Medical officials are going room-by-room to check each guests' temperature and medical condition, Japan's health ministry said in a statement.

The health ministry there says 135 people on the ship have come down with the COVID-19 virus. At last check, Culcleasure did not have the virus.

Culcleasure is one of the featured entertainers on the ship. A graduate of Florida State University's School of Music, she honed her schools singing at church in Winston-Salem as a child, said Alvin Armstead Jr., pastor of United Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church.

Her mother still plays piano for some church services there, Armstead said.

The Diamond Princess has  2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew members on board, Princess Cruises said in a statement.

As of Wednesday morning, the viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 45,100 people globally. The CDC confirms 13 people have the coronavirus in the United States, but their cases are "mild."

Culcleasure is one of several North Carolinians to be impacted by the virus.

Four people who recently returned to Charlotte from China were being held in self-quarantine Friday evening and monitored for coronavirus symptoms, according to the Mecklenburg County Health Department.

The four individuals have not been identified publicly and are considered "medium risk" for development of novel coronavirus, according to Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio. The four were sent home for a voluntary, 14-day self-quarantine.

Carrboro writer Ashley Atkins moved to Shenzhen, China, to teach high school last fall. She was on vacation in Cambodia for the new year holiday when the coronavirus outbreak blew up. She'd barely heard of it before she left, but by the time she was supposed to go home to Shenzhen, she couldn’t.

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