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The coach of a U.S. women's football team who traveled to Honduras for a tournament and are now stuck there due to a coronavirus-related lockdown told “Outnumbered Overtime” on Thursday that the team is “just trying to stay positive.”
“Traveling here wasn’t a concern to us because there was only one confirmed case before we got here, so we were weren’t concerned about coming here and at that time the United States wasn’t on lockdown yet,” Stephanie Balochko, the team’s coach, told host Harris Faulkner via FaceTime.
The 55-member team had traveled to Honduras on March 11, the same day the National Basketball Association (NBA) suspended its season and as state and local governments started to implement a host of restrictions on bars, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Host Harris Faulkner noted that the team's remaining games were canceled halfway through the tournament and the Honduran government announced it would close the country's borders for seven days.
“We currently got 25 players that we were able to get on to a military plane along with embassy personnel and they should be leaving shortly to get back to the states, and from there hopefully back to home real soon," Balochko said, adding that “currently we’re working with some congressmen and women” to try to get the rest of the group home.
“We currently represent at least 17 states,” she noted, adding that they are in contact with the representatives from those states, but so far she does not know when the rest of the group will be able to return home.
Later Thursday, the State Department announced that it was advising U.S. citizens to avoid international travel, and urged Americans abroad to arrange an "immediate return" to the U.S. unless they planned to remain overseas for an "indefinite period."
When Faulkner asked Balochko if anyone has shown any signs of COVID-19, she said, “Not at all. We are all very healthy, there are no signs of any symptoms.”
Faulkner noted that Honduras currently has 12 confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to data compiled by Fox News.
When asked if anyone else is stuck in Honduras Balochko said, “When we got here we had four teams [representing] the United States, Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica.”
“Mexico was able to get about half of their people out and currently the rest are still here, as well as Costa Rica,” she continued.
Balochko told Faulkner the team has been trying to stay “upbeat” and have been “doing various activities around the hotel,” including a scavenger hunt to keep busy.