ORLANDO, Fla. - A family from Orlando is thankful to be reunited after an unexpected positive COVID-19 test while abroad.
"It’s in the back of your mind all the time. Everything you do these days is a risk," Chris Rizzolo said.
Rizzolo and his wife took a dream trip with friends to the Piedmont wine region of Italy. He said the trip was amazing until they got to the airport in Milan and the four of them had to take COVID-19 tests in order to fly back to the United States.
"Me and the other couple tested negative. My wife tested positive," he said.
He and his wife, Sandra, had to make a split-second decision.
"What are we going to do? What now? We have a daughter at home – she’s school-aged – and tickets to come back. We decided for me to come back, so she could go to school, take care of her. She hadn’t seen us for a week," he explained.
It was all such a shock. He said his wife never even felt sick.
"As she described, it was that dry throat you get when it’s cold outside, and you have the heat on," Rizzolo said.
The Rizzolos and their friends had booked their trip months ago after the delta variant spike when COVID-19 numbers were low.
"Then in December, as everyone knows you start reading about this omicron variant out there, and then we’re like now what? What do we do? And ultimately decided since we’re all vaccinated and have booster shots, we’ll take our vacation," he explained.
He said they were careful while traveling and explained that Italy has much more strict safety rules than the USA.
"You show your vax card everywhere you go just to get in. You have to wear a mask everywhere you go, it’s relatively safe, and everywhere we went was not densely populated," he said.
Italy has designated quarantine hotels for travelers who test positive for COVID-19. His wife wound up finding an Airbnb to stay in for the week and used Uber Eats and food delivery for most of her meals.
"Luckily it’s 2022. We have FaceTime, WhatsApp we were able to communicate all the time, so we did a lot of video chats. My daughter did a lot of video chats and kept each-others spirits up," he said.
Six days into her quarantine, Sandra tested negative and was able to fly home on January 9.
"What our advice to other people would be is: if you’re going to travel now -- until this is over, or if it ever ends -- have that contingency plan. Understand you might be spending your vacation for another week," he said.
He tells FOX 35 News that his family will not be planning any more overseas adventures until the pandemic is over.
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