Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess is being held in quarantine off the coast of San Francisco, following two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in two of its passengers, one of them fatal.
The New York Times reported that 11 passengers and 10 crew members were showing symptoms of infection; according to Princess, the ship had sailed roundtrip from San Francisco to Mexico with more than 2,500 people aboard (the majority of them California residents) from Feb. 11-21, then sailing for Hawaii before returning to California, where it remains quarantined with several passengers still aboard from the first leg of the cruise.
According to Princess, there are fewer than 100 guests and crew identified for testing, including all in-transit guests (guests who sailed the previous Mexico voyage and remained on board for the current Hawaii voyage), those guests and crew who have experienced influenza-like illness symptoms on this voyage, and guests currently under care for respiratory illness.
The U.S. Coast Guard is delivering sampling kits to the ship this morning (March 5) via helicopter, which will be administered by the Grand Princess’ onboard medical team.
Public health officials have advised that no guests will be permitted to disembark until all results have been received. Out of an abundance of caution, all guests who have been identified for testing have been asked to remain in their staterooms, Princess said.
One passenger from the Feb. 11 sailing died Wednesday in California – the first U.S. death outside of Washington State – and according to officials, the passenger, who had underlying respiratory issues, is believed to have been exposed to the virus on the San Francisco-Mexico part of the cruise. A second passenger from that leg of the cruise is being treated for the disease in Sonoma County.
Princess has contacted passengers from the Feb. 11 cruise and advised them to seek medical attention if they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
California has seen a number of coronavirus cases, including three more in Santa Clara County and six more in Los Angeles, where a state of emergency has been declared.
Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today!