Chicago man who has tested positive for COVID-19 stuck on board cruise ship

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It started as a dream vacation.

Nineteen days on board of the ship in some of the most beautiful parts of the world, a voyage through Antarctica and the South Georgia Islands.

"We saw penguin and seal colonies, things like that," said Brian Meier, who was stuck on the cruise ship.

The fun did not last very long.

"We were told that we would be cutting the trip short," Meier said.

Meier, a Chicago man, is now stuck on board of the ship. He snapped scenic photos before the Greg Mortimer Expedition ship had to make a change of plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 23rd, Aurora Expeditions, the Australian operator of the ship told all passengers to stay in their cabins.

Just over two weeks later, Meier says 60% of the ship has now tested positive for the deadly virus.

Meier said that 128 people have tested positive for COVID-19.

"People have been moved to hospitals onshore," Meier said. "We know some have been in the ICU."

Meier also recently took a test.

"The results got delivered before this call and I was shown as positive," he said. "I feel fine."

"With only six Americans on board, we do fear that we are getting lost in the shuffle.," Meier said.

The group has contacted the U.S. Embassy and local legislators, including Illinois congressman Bill Foster.

"We will get them on the next flight out of these as soon as possible," Foster said.

The cruise line, full of mostly Australians, is not allowed to dock. It is anchored about 12 miles off the shore of Uruguay.

"We will not be allowed to fly until we test negative, but they do not know yet if Uruguay will let us off the ship," Meier said.

The cruise said passengers from Australia and New Zealand are likely to fly home on Friday.

American passengers who test negative are hoping they can leave soon.
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