Coronavirus: Tennessee native on cruise ship among those quarantined in Japan

A Tennessee native and University of Memphis graduate is among the people who have been quarantined for the coronavirus.

Luke Hefner, a singer under contract on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, has been quarantined since Feb. 5, WHBQ reported.

After Hefner’s results came back positive, crews rushed him off the ship and into a Japanese hospital Feb. 18.

He wasn’t able to tell his castmates goodbye.

When Hefner first arrived at his new room, he had no Wi-Fi, no cellphone signal and no way to reach his friends and family back home.

After days of scrambling to borrow random people’s cellphones to send updates, a knock at the door came.

Princess Cruises brought him a package that included pajamas, shampoo, and most importantly, a Japanese SIM card.

Since then, WHBQ has been in contact with Hefner.

“Princess (Cruises) literally saved the day,” Hefner told the television station. “The virus wasn’t even the worst part. It was not being able to tell the people I love that I was OK.”

Hefner is from Newport and moved to Memphis in 2011. He graduated from the University of Memphis in 2015 with a degree in musical theater.

He said he feels healthy and is remaining in good spirits.

He has done four cruise contracts with Princess and said this hasn’t stopped him from wanting to do another.

Hefner is in Japan while he waits for new test results, which are due back Tuesday.

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