The ship was being held off the coast of California to give state officials time to test passengers and crew for the virus, Governor Gavin Newsom said at a press conference. The Grand Princess had been scheduled to dock in San Francisco Wednesday night.
“The ship will not come on shore until we appropriately assess the passengers,” Newsom said, shortly after announcing a emergency proclamation for the state.
The 71-year-old male guest who died had sailed on the ship’s Feb. 11-21 voyage from San Francisco to Mexico. He tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday, and Placer County health officials reported his death Wednesday. Newsom said another passenger from the same trip, a Sonoma County resident, had also tested positive for the virus and was in “very difficult condition.”
The state, working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is trying to track down every passenger from that first trip, Newsom said. According to the company, 62 people from that voyage are on the current excursion. Those guests must remain in their staterooms until they are screened by medical staff, the company said.
Newsom said the state was flying test kits out to the ship and would likely process them at a lab in the San Francisco Bay Area. He said 21 passengers and crew were showing possible symptoms of the virus. Once testing is complete, state officials will have to decide where to let the Grand Princess dock, and under what precautions, Newsom said.
Carnival’s Princess brand was at the center of the largest — and to date only — known outbreak of coronavirus at sea. More than 700 people who had been on board the Diamond Princess tested positive for the coronavirus and were under quarantine on board at one point in Yokohama, Japan.
Since then, a number of cruise ships have been turned away from ports over fears that they could bring coronavirus ashore, even though passengers had not been found to have the virus.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.