Virus quarantine extended for York County couple, others evacuated from cruise ship

Ron Musselman
York Dispatch
Bill and Colette Smedley

The Warrington Township couple hoping to return home Monday after spending the past 14 days in coronavirus quarantine got some bad news.

They were not cleared by officials to leave Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, and the date of their return to York County remains uncertain.

“Devastation we are not being released today,” Bill Smedley said in a Facebook post Monday morning.

Smedley could not be reached for further comment as of noon Monday.

More:Quarantined York County couple hoping long journey ends early next week

More:Warrington Twp. couple off cruise ship but still quarantined over coronavirus

The San Antonio-Express reported a patient was released from a medical facility near San Antonio on Saturday before officials realized she had tested positive for the coronavirus strain, COVID-19. 

Bill Smedley

The patient has since been readmitted and was an evacuee from Wuhan, China, where  the virus originated, officials said.

“I am guessing that the governor filed an injunction to keep us put until. ???,” Smedley wrote. “None of us scheduled to leave today has ever tested positive unlike the person responsible for this. People are really upset."

Bill Smedley, 66, and his wife, Colette, were among more than 300 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in the Japanese port of Yokohama and flown back to U.S. military bases Feb. 17.

They have been quarantined near San Antonio since then, and their mandated 14 days were set to expire early Monday. They previously were quarantined for 10 days on the cruise ship.

Close to 90,000 people worldwide in 40 countries have been infected with the coronavirus, which emerged in December. The virus has killed more than 3,000 people so far, with the majority of deaths in China.

The retired couple were attempting to get away from the Pennsylvania winter when they embarked on their cruise on Jan. 6.

Colette Smedley

The Smedleys visited Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan as part of their vacation, which has included celebrations for their 33rd wedding anniversary and Colette’s 65th birthday.

They were supposed to disembark Feb. 3, but someone tested positive for the coronavirus when the ship was docked in Japan, and they were placed under quarantine for the first time.

— Ron Musselman can be reached at or via Twitter at @ronmusselman8.