RI couple self-quarantines after honeymoon trip to Italy amid coronavirus concerns


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Nick Autiello and his husband, Eric Rietveld, just returned to Providence from their honeymoon in Italy.

But instead of returning to business as usual, the happy couple is quarantined inside their house for 14 days due to growing fears of a coronavirus outbreak hitting the Ocean State.

“We ordered groceries to be delivered…we’re really trying to take it seriously,” Autiello told Eyewitness News through Facetime Thursday.

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Italy is considered one of the epicenters of the coronavirus outbreak, with more than 3,000 cases and 107 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Both Autiello and Rietveld, who work in Boston, were told by their employers to stay home and self-quarantine in case either one of them develop symptoms. They’re two of nearly 200 Rhode Islanders who are undergoing self-quarantine.

“We both feel fine,” Autiello said. “We also are understanding of how this works. We could not show any symptoms for 14 days and go outside and pass it on to people and cause an outbreak, and then all of a sudden we could develop the symptoms and we definitely don’t want to be responsible for that.”

The couple is taking the advice of health experts who are working to prevent further spread of the virus.

“It’s so important for those who are quarantined to say quarantined and for those of us who have a need to stay healthy to wash our hands and if we’re sick, to stay home from work,” Dr. Jim McDonald said. “If you do think you have the disease, call your healthcare providers before you go.”

The Rhode Island Department of Health has reported only two positive cases of the coronavirus in the state, with only one of those cases being confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both of those cases, according to state health officials, are connected to a trip abroad coordinated by St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket.

Rietveld, who wore a shirt with the phrase “Let’s Stay Home Club” printed on it during the Facetime interview, said they’re trying their best to get through the situation together.

“I think it’s the only thing you can do ─ is take it in stride,” he said. “It’s a lot of time to spend at home, but it’s fine.”

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