Wed | Aug 4, 2021

COVID-19 positive airline stewardess fakes abduction to get out of quarantine

Published:Sunday | February 14, 2021 | 12:25 AMJanet Silvera - Senior Gleaner Writer

WE STERN BUREAU:

The Jetblue Airways stewardess who reported that she was being held hostage in Jamaica is expected to depart the island later today, after being quarantined for 14 days owing to a positive COVID-19 test result.

Kalina Collier, who convinced social media influencers, including Amanda Seales, an activist in the United States (US), that she was being held against her will in Jamaica, tested positive twice when she was expected to depart the island.

Collier arrived in the country on January 28, and was scheduled to depart February 1.

On Saturday, January 30, Collier did an antigen test that returned a positive result; another test an hour later was negative. Owing to the uncertainty surrounding the two tests, the Ministry of Health and Wellness recommended a PCR test on February 2, which came back positive.

She was given a 14-day quarantine order by the health ministry. Moreover, US COVID-19 protocols would not allow her entry into the country with a positive result. The Ocean Coral Spring hotel offered to have her stay the period at no extra cost, instead of transferring to a government facility.

“Our policy at Ocean Coral Spring is to facilitate COVID-19 tests in resort by approved medical providers and, if one of our guests test positive, we extend a 14-day complimentary accommodation for quarantine, and a reduced rate for any companion who decides to stay with the affected guest,” Tanesha Clarke, director of sales, confirmed to The Gleaner.

The airline stewardess, who was seen relaying her dissatisfaction about being held hostage on Instagram, has rocked the island’s tourism sector and is threatening to destroy the resort’s reputation. She convinced over 100,000 viewers that she was being held hostage, kidnapped and trafficked in Jamaica.

“For one, she is not missing; she is safe and is being extended all the courtesies of the hotel team. She receives room service daily for all meals; and has direct contact with the medical provider in resort – Hospiten; and she has contact with the local public-health representative for Trelawny,” Clarke stated.

Although the regional director of the Jamaica Tourist Board, Odette Dyer, reached out to her, and assisted with securing proof of the COVID-19 status of Collier, she reportedly did not take down the video until her employers intervened.

Efforts to get her to retract the story proved futile, because she has also removed her Instagram profile.

Yesterday, Deputy Superintendent of Police Cordia Ashley and a team from the Falmouth Police Division visited the resort to verify that Collier was not being held under duress.

Her quarantine ends today.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com