Scott Maggs, CEO of charity Beard Season and Verizon Media producer, Emma Metcalf, have been given the all clear after 39 of their wedding guests tested positive for COVID-19 following their March 6th wedding.
Speaking on the Today show, the couple said they’re currently in isolation after traveling back from the Maldives, where they honeymooned after their big day, which was held at Tumbling Waters Retreat in Stanwell Tops, south of Sydney.
The couple said it’s been a very trying time as they’ve had to deal with friends and members of their family of their family falling sick due to the coronavirus.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) March 22, 2020
“We've been receiving some really good news, that many of them are now testing negative, which is a really, really amazing result,” Scott said.
“With this thing, everyone's trying to figure it all out and it's super stressful for a lot of people, and the impact has been massive.”
They went on to say that it has been “heartbreaking” and “devastating” for them.
Last week, Scott Maggs released a statement, after it was revealed that many of their loved ones who had attended their wedding has fallen ill with COVID-19.
“The only media attention Emma and I were hoping for was to hero all the amazing people and small businesses who helped make our day so special,” Scott said in a statement provided to Yahoo Lifestyle.
“But due to factors outside our control, our wedding has become front page news for something we could never anticipate.
“Australia was a very different place then to what it is today. There were no travel bans or restrictions on gatherings and we would never have put people at risk if we had known what we know now.
“We now have 37 confirmed cases. Some of whom are elderly family members and people who travelled from interstate and overseas. It’s a very serious situation and our main priority is the health and safety of our guests and the broader community.”
As the CEO of a health promotion charity, Scott wanted to make sure people are well informed, can monitor their symptoms, manage their self isolation and have the opportunity to be tested.
“Know the warning signs, look out for each other and give people a (sanitised) hand instead of pointing fingers,” he added. “Australia is all about mateship. We showed it during the bushfires and we can do it through this.
“This was the last thing in the world we wanted for our special day. But this crisis is going to affect so many of us in so many ways. We hope that by sharing our story we can remove the stigma about testing positive and help people stay calm in the face of adversity.
“We’re all in this together, and together, we can overcome it.”
Newlyweds ‘gutted’ as guests test positive
The newlywed couple last week spoke of their shock after they found out some of their wedding guests were struck down by coronavirus.
Scott Maggs, also known by his celebrity alter ego Jimmy Niggles, told Yahoo Lifestyle previously he and Emma had received a worrying text last Thursday, while they were still on their honeymoon.
“We actually got a text, saying: ‘We need to fill you in that two people have been confirmed with coronavirus’,” he said.
But worse news was to come for Mr Maggs, 37, when he and his new wife arrived back in Australia from their honeymoon in the Maldives on Monday afternoon and were told that the number of confirmed cases had surged.
“We were completely gutted when we first found out and we really wanted our friends to be safe and for them to be well. I couldn’t really think past that,” he said on Monday night.
“It was the best day of our lives and we wanted it to be remembered for the right reasons. It was the perfect weekend except for this.”
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant confirmed at the time six people who attended the wedding at Tumbling Waters Retreat had tested positive, but it was expected the number would rise.
Authorities were trying to trace all the guests to ensure everyone displaying symptoms is tested and follows isolation advice.
Those who tested positive were mainly Sydney-based, but one of the guests was from Canberra and another from Melbourne.
Ms Metcalf, who works as a senior producer for Verizon Media – publisher of Yahoo Lifestyle Australia – said she emailed her 120 guests immediately to tell them the news.
“We emailed our attendees because we have a social responsibility,” the 36-year-old said.
‘We never expected this to happen’
The couple, from the NSW South Coast, said they did not think of cancelling the wedding because advice at the time had not been as dire as it was now.
“If it was now we definitely wouldn't have done it [had the wedding],” Mr Maggs said.
Ms Metcalf added: “Seeing how fast it can spread in such a short amount of time through different communities has been a massive eye-opener for us and for the country”.
We never expected this to happen to our little group,” Ms Metcalf said.
“Everyone was so healthy and in such great spirits.”
Newlyweds touched by response
The newlyweds said they were grateful for how Tumbling Waters Retreat owner Sonja Keller and their friends had reacted to the news.
“[When she heard] Sonja said: ‘Is everyone okay? I really hope everyone is okay’,” Mr Maggs said.
“And all our friends are saying: ‘Don't worry, we'll remember it as a good memory’.”
One guest told Ms Metcalf via text that they felt they were kept up to date throughout the whole process.
“We were all well-informed in what to do, as soon as one person tested positive, we were all across it and vigilant with checking ourselves and protecting others,” the text said.
“Thanks to the wedding and this knowledge, those that may not have shown ‘typical' symptoms, were able to get tested and then place themselves in isolation as per health advice."
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