A cruise ship hit by the new coronavirus is headed to the port of Oakland, California, the captain told passengers, though they were destined to stay aboard the ship for at least another day.
Grand Princess Capt. John Smith, in a recording provided by passenger Laurie Miller of San Jose, told guests the ship will dock in Oakland. Princess Cruises says it’s expected to arrive on Monday. The ship is carrying more than 3,500 people from 54 countries.
“An agreement has been reached to bring our ship into the port of Oakland,” he told passengers Saturday night. “After docking, we will then begin a disembarkation process specified by federal authorities that will take several days.”
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Smith said passengers who need medical treatment or hospitalization will go to health care facilities in California, while state residents who don’t require acute medical care “will go to a federally operated isolation facility within California for testing and isolation.”
U.S. guests from other states will be transported by the federal government to facilities in other states. Crew members will be quarantined and treated aboard the ship.
In a statement emailed to Global News on Saturday, Global Affairs Canada said they were “in contact with the cruise line and local authorities” and are “monitoring the situation closely.”
Global Affairs Canada said they did not have confirmation of the nationalities of those who had tested positive for the virus.
Smith said the information he was given did not include any details about what would happen to passengers from other countries.
“We are working to obtain more details overnight. … I’m sorry I can’t provide you more details right now,” he said.
The Grand Princess had been forbidden to dock in San Francisco amid evidence that the vessel was the breeding ground for a cluster of nearly 20 cases that resulted in at least one death after a previous voyage.
In light of the situation aboard the Grand Princess and other cruise ships recently plagued by COVID-19 outbreaks, Canadian health officials are now advising people to avoid cruise ship travel.