Virus-hit United States cruise ship to dock in Oakland: Operator

Katie Ramirez
March 10, 2020

The Grand Princess, which has 21 confirmed novel coronavirus infections among its 3,500 passengers and crew, appeared to be moving toward the coast, according to ship tracker Cruisin.

The first passengers were taken ashore from a coronavirus-hit cruise ship after it docked Monday at California's port of Oakland, in what officials called an "unprecedented and difficult" operation involving thousands on board. A cruise on the same ship was cut short last month after a gastrointestinal outbreak sickened at least 299 passengers and 22 crew members. The cruise ship, which had maintained a holding pattern off the coast for days, is carrying multiple people who tested positive for COVID-19.

Fences were being installed at an 11-acre site at the Port of Oakland, as authorities readied flights and buses to whisk the more than 2,000 passengers aboard the Grand Princess to military bases or their home countries for a 14-day quarantine.

Margaret Bartlett, a 77-year-old British woman who was confined to a cabin with no balcony told the BBC she was going "stir insane".

The Government of Canada has chartered a plane to repatriate 237 Canadian passengers.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said that the almost 1,000 California residents on the ship will take priority, followed by non-California residents who are USA citizens, and then non-U.S. citizens.

Poole wrote that she and Karen Dever are quilters, and she has been working on a quilting project.

Sibbitt, a Fisherman's Wharf resident who is on a vacation alone, says she believes the quarantine was a prudent move.

The Grand Princess will undergo a "cleansing and sanitation procedure before returning to service." a representative for the Princess Cruises told Live Science in an email.

Meals on the Grand Princess ship reportedly aren't quite being enjoyed family-style, one passenger has claimed.

PortMiami travelers react to coronavirus outbreak amid cruise ship quarantines
As the US death toll from the virus reached at least 21 and the number of cases worldwide soared above 110,000, California Gov. Cruise ship passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of infection diseases, including COVID-19.

21 people aboard the ship, 19 of which are crew, have tested positive for coronavirus.

"The crew was wonderful", Elizabeth Goetsch, of Wisconsin, told the Fort Lauderdale paper.

The State Department warned against travel on cruise ships because of "increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment".

Many countries, including the United States, evacuated their residents from the ship, and Japan drew criticism for keeping people on board.

It is unclear how many people are on board the Regal Princess, but the cruise line's website said it has a capacity of 3,560 guests.

"We hear from media outside and friends outside before the captain, so that's frustrating", Miller said.

The cruise line has refunded the entire cost of the trip, Crumley said, and has offered everyone a future cruise free of charge.

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Dr. Anthony Fauci said that a step-by-step process will be followed in disembarking passengers of the Grand Princess.

Meanwhile, on dry land, two people with COVID-19 died in Florida, the first deaths on the U.S. East Coast attributed to the outbreak.

Cruise industry leaders met over the weekend with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Vice-President Mike Pence and were asked to devise and fund ways to transport any passengers found to carry the virus.

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