Infected cruise ship unloads passengers in California

Infected cruise ship unloads passengers in California

OAKLAND, Calif. — The cruise ship forced to idle for days off the California coast because of a cluster of coronavirus cases aboard arrived in port Monday, and dozen of passengers began to leave for military bases where they would be quarantined or to return to their home countries.

The Grand Princess pulled into the Port of Oakland with more than 3,500 people aboard — 21 confirmed to be infected with the new virus. Passengers lining the balconies waved and some left the cabins where they had been in isolation to go on deck.

As the ship sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge to enter the harbour, passenger Karen Schwartz Dever said “everyone was hollering and clapping.”

Twenty-three people who needed acute medical care had been taken off the ship by late Monday afternoon, but it was not clear how many of them had tested positive for the virus, said Shawn Boyd, a spokesman for the California Office of Emergency Services.

Live TV footage showed at least one passenger, an older man wearing a face mask, climbing onto a stretcher and being lifted into the back of an ambulance. Officials have said the unloading will take up to three days.

“Our intent is to basically disembark about half the passengers today. Everyone will be screened initially today,” said Robert Kadlec, assistant secretary of Health and Human Services Services.

Many of the nearly 240 Canadians on board left the ship after the critically ill and stood outside two tents displaying Canadian flags. Canada and the UK were among the countries sending chartered flights to retrieve their citizens.

U.S. passengers will be flown or bused from the port — chosen for its proximity to an airport and a military base — to bases in California, Texas and Georgia for testing and a 14-day quarantine. The ship is carrying people from 54 countries, and foreigners will be whisked home.

About 1,100 crew members, 19 of whom have tested positive for COVID-19, will be quarantined and treated aboard the ship, which will dock elsewhere after passengers are unloaded, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.

In an effort to stop the virus from spreading, Italy will impose travel restrictions and other strict public health measures nationwide starting Tuesday. And a combination of coronavirus fears and plunging oil prices sent stocks on Wall Street plummeting Monday.

The virus has infected 600 people in the United States, and at least 26 have died, most in Washington state. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said communities will need to start thinking about cancelling large gatherings, closing schools and letting more employees work from home, as many companies have done after an outbreak in the Seattle area.

In Silicon Valley, NASA’s Ames Research Center is essentially closed with restricted access because an employee tested positive Sunday for the coronavirus. Workers will be on “mandatory telework status” and three earth science airplane missions are being delayed to later this year, the county said.

Several universities have begun online-only courses, including the University of Washington, Stanford University and Columbia University. The largest school district in Northern California, with 64,000 students, cancelled classes for a week when it was discovered a family in the district was exposed to COVID-19. Georgia’s fourth-largest school district, which has more than 93,000 students, closed its schools for at least one day after a teacher at two middle schools was confirmed to have the coronavirus.

The Grand Princess had been held off the coast since Wednesday because of evidence that it was the breeding ground for more than 20 infections tied to a previous voyage.

Passengers from the previous voyage have tested positive in California and other states. Six Canadians who were on the Grand Princess from Feb. 11 to 21 were also confirmed to have the virus.

The California governor and Oakland mayor sought to reassure people that none of the cruise ship passengers would be exposed to the public before completing the quarantine. Officials were trying to decide where the ship and its crew would go next.

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

Another Princess ship, the Diamond Princess, was quarantined for two weeks in Yokohama, Japan, last month because of the virus. Ultimately, about 700 of the 3,700 people aboard became infected in what experts pronounced a public health failure, with the vessel essentially becoming a floating germ factory.

___

Rodriguez reported from San Francisco. Associated Press writers Janie Har, Jocelyn Gecker and Juliet Williams in San Francisco also contributed to this report.

___

The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

___

Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

Olga R. Rodriguez And Daisy Nguyen, The Associated Press

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Infected cruise ship unloads passengers in California

Just Posted

Blank Unemployment Benefits form
Red Deer unemployment rate rises to 10.6 per cent

Red Deer’s unemployment rate rose slightly during the month of April. The… Continue reading

Red Deer teacher Jeremey Spink has been nominated as the NHL/NHLPA Most Valuable Teacher. He is one of 20 teachers in the running across North America for the award in February. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Last day to vote for Red Deer Teacher as NHL Most Valuable Teacher

Eastview Middle School teacher Jeremy Spink is one of three teachers in the running for the award

Starting Monday, golf courses across the province will be limited to their household or for those who live alone, their two close contacts. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Golf in Alberta limited to household or close contacts starting Monday

Golf courses will have new COVID-19 protocols to follow next week. Starting… Continue reading

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr
MLA Ron Orr pleads with Central Albertans to follow COVID-19 rules

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr is changing his tune on COVID-19. Orr originally… Continue reading

People line up at a COVID-19 vaccination centre, Friday, April 23, 2021 in Deux-Montagnes, Que. Canada's two biggest provinces are continuing to ramp up COVID-19 vaccinations as they report lower hospitalization figures.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
COVID-19 rapid tests going to more businesses, Alberta truckers get shots in Montana

Ottawa has introduced new ways for small and medium businesses to get… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services locked the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror on Wednesday morning after owner Christopher Scott refused to comply with health orders. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)
UPDATED: AHS shuts down Whistle Stop Cafe for defying health orders

Justice minister promises to get tough with those ignoring public health orders

Rona Ambrose is shown during an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, Thursday, May 18, 2017. New judges will have to commit to take training in sexual assault law, thanks to a new law that received royal assent last night. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Judges’ sexual assault training bill receives royal assent after clearing the Senate

OTTAWA, Ohio — New judges will have to commit to take training… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks to a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday May 4, 2021. A broad coalition of MPs from all five parties wants the federal government to support waiving the global rules that guard vaccine trade secrets. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
As MPs urge support, Trudeau demurs on whether government backs COVID-19 waiver

WASHINGTON — Justin Trudeau stopped well short Friday of endorsing efforts to… Continue reading

Workers perform ground preparations outside City Hall in Yellowknife on Monday, July 4, 2011. A recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Yellowknife is mostly affecting children and youth, the territory’s chief public health officer says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most of Yellowknife’s COVID-19 cases are in children and youth: public health officer

YELLOWKNIFE — A health official in the Northwest Territories says a recent… Continue reading

Statistics Canada building and signs are pictured in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
A year after jobs data leak, StatCan resumes sharing advance numbers with officials

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada has resumed its practice of giving key federal… Continue reading

jobs - T - 3-6-2020
Job search: 10 ways to make your LinkedIn profile stand out in 2021

In 2021 successful job hunting requires having a LinkedIn profile that’s current… Continue reading

Max Parrot of Canada competes in the men’s snowboard big air final at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. Parrot has won the Comeback of the Year honour at the Laureus World Sports Awards. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot wins Laureus World Sports Award for comeback

Parrot beat out former Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith

This Nov. 22, 2015 file photo shows Justin Bieber at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Bieber’s world tour is facing another setback as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. The Stratford, Ont.-raised pop singer is pushing dozens of tour dates including stops in three Canadian cities.	THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File
Justin Bieber postpones Canadian summer tour dates until 2022

52-date world tour will now kick off Feb. 18, 2022

Most Read