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Diamond Princess cruise ship passenger with coronavirus back in Utah after brief quarantine in Folsom

The patient isn't new to California, he was evacuated to Travis Air Force Base from Japan and tested positive at the end of his 14-day quarantine.

FOLSOM, Calif. — UPDATE: 

After spending less than 24 hours in a Folsom hospital, Mark Jorgensen, the man who tested positive for the coronavirus while quarantined at Travis Air Force Base, was transferred to his home state of Utah for treatment.

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ORIGINAL: 

As the coronavirus continues to spread all over the world and concerns grow in California, ABC10 has obtained exclusive new information about a possible case in Folsom.

The patient, Mark Jorgensen from Utah, is the first known case of the coronavirus at a Folsom hospital. Jorgensen isn't new to California, he was evacuated to Travis Air Force Base from Japan and tested positive at the end of his 14-day quarantine.

In a Facebook post Wednesday morning, he announced he was being moved to NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield. Thursday night, he got a call from a doctor saying he was being transferred to Mercy Hospital of Folsom. 

It all started as Mark and his wife, Jerri, and another couple were vacationing on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan when the coronavirus outbreak forced them into quarantine.

"We were allowed to go up on deck about every three days for about an hour to walk and get some fresh air," Jerri told ABC10 in an exclusive interview.

Jerri tested positive for the virus while on the ship and was taken to a Japanese hospital, where she remains today— waiting to test negative.
She told ABC10 in a Facetime interview that she feels fine and has never had coronavirus symptoms.

"They brought me a yoga mat, so I do a lot of pilates and I do make-up barre classes," she said.

Mark has been publicly documenting the entire journey on Facebook. He and the other couple, who tested negative for the virus at the time on the ship, were evacuated to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield.

The other couple went on to Omaha, Nebraska and Mark stayed quarantined at Travis, he told ABC10. It wasn't until this week, at the very end of his two-week quarantine period, that he tested positive for the virus. 

“Next stop hospital,” Mark said in a Facebook post Wednesday morning with a location of NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield. By Thursday night, he was on the move yet again. 

"Well, I get a call about an hour ago from the doctor and she said, 'Well, I hate to tell you this, but you will be moving. You will be transferring to Folsom, to Mercy Hospital of Folsom,' and I said, 'What?' And she said, 'Yeah, they'll be there to get you in half an hour,” he said.

"Then she says, 'Get all your stuff and throw it in biohazard bags,' so that is all my luggage that is going to be thrown on the ambulance with me, and it's about an hour and a half drive to Folsom," he added.

Husband and wife both have coronavirus, but they both told ABC10 that think it is being blown out of proportion. 

"I have a lot of friends saying, 'We have a trip scheduled.' I say, 'Go on your trip.' They say, 'Really? After what you've been through?' I say, 'Go on your trip!' Live your life and quit living in fear,” Jerri said.

Even after going from vacation to medical isolation, and although they're on opposite sides of the world, they keep in touch and are making it work. 

“Yeah, I know, she's going to make a Folsom Prison joke,” Mark said.

ABC10 reached out to Mercy Hospital of Folsom for more information about the case and was directed to Sacramento County Public Health Officials.

Early Thursday morning, a county health spokesperson provided the following statement:

“There are currently no new announcements. Regarding a health facility caring for any patient, Sacramento County Public Health cannot provide that information to protect health confidentiality to comply with HIPAA.”

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