As of 11 a.m. Friday, March 20, 44 Maine residents have been confirmed positive and 12 others are presumed positive for the coronavirus, according to the state. Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support this mission by purchasing a digital subscription.
Michelle Kribel, a 51-year-old nurse from Windham, and her daughter Katelyn embarked last week on what they thought would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Amazon rainforest.
But on Monday, when Peru shut down its borders in response to the global coronavirus pandemic, that trip quickly became a nightmare as Kribel and her daughter became two of more than 1,000 Americans stranded in the South American country for at least two weeks.
“We are American citizens. While this country is wonderful and the people are kind, this is not where we belong,” Kribel said Thursday in a phone interview. “We are completely and totally prepared to stay for two weeks, although we don’t want to. We would rather quarantine in our own country.”
Peru’s president issued a nationwide state of emergency there on Sunday in response to the spread of COVID-19. The declaration forced the country into quarantine for 15 days and gave foreigners just 24 hours to leave the country before its borders closed at 11:59 p.m. on Monday
With a limited number of flights, and last-minute airfare starting at $3,500 for a coach seat back home, many Americans were unable to leave. They’re now forced to quarantine abroad.