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21 Infected on Corona Virus Cruise Ship--Test Reveals Hawaii's First Corona Patient
By Andrew Walden @ 3:00 PM :: 3014 Views :: Health Care, Tourism

by Andrew Walden, March 4, 2020 (UPDATED March 5 and 6, 2020)

A 71-year-old Placer County, California man died today--March 4, 2020--after apparently acquiring a COVID-19 corona virus infection on a cruise from Mexico to San Francisco February 11-21. 

UPDATE 3/6/20: VP Mike Pence announces testing has confirmed 21 COVID 19 cases on board.

UPDATE 3/6/20: A Hawaii resident who traveled on the Grand Princess cruise ship in February and returned to Oahu has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The victim was on board the Princess Cruise Lines Grand Princess cruise liner.  He disembarked the ship in San Francisco February 21, 2020, but 62 of his fellow-travelers continued--along with crew and hundreds of newly arrived passengers--aboard the Grand Princess on the next leg of its journey—to Hawaii.

Grand Princess port calls in Hawaii were as follows:

Date / Time Port
2/21/2020 16:00     Departing from San Francisco, California hotels
26 Feb 08:00 - 17:00 Nawiliwili, Lihue, Kauai Island, Hawaii
27 Feb 07:00 - 23:00 Honolulu, Oahu Island, Hawaii
28 Feb 07:00 - 18:00 Lahaina, Maui Island, Hawaii
29 Feb 08:00 - 17:00 Hilo, Hawaii Island
05 Mar 16:00 - 20:00 Ensenada, Baja California Mexico (Cancelled)
7-Mar Arriving in San Francisco, California

 

After departing Hilo, the Grand Princess was diverted to its current position off of San Francisco after California authorities traced the victim back to the ship.  The 62 travelers are quarantined within the ship.

HNN reports: “California Gov. Gavin Newsom says as many as 11 passengers and 10 crew members on the ship ― being held at sea off San Francisco ― are exhibiting flu-like symptoms.”  

Newsom today declared a state of emergency in California.   

The LA Times reports: "Princess Cruises said it was notified by the CDC that it is investigating a small cluster of cases in Northern California among guests who sailed on the Grand Princess Mexican voyage." 

Hawaii Governor David Ige today also issued an emergency proclamation and the appointment of Lt Governor Josh Green as the administration’s point-person on COVID-19.

  *   *   *   *   *

UPDATE: Coronavirus Fears Keeps Grand Princess In Limbo Off California Coast

CBS San Francisco, March 5, 2020: … The Grand Princess remained hovering off the California coast early Thursday (3-5-20), banned by Gov. Gavin Newsom from docking in San Francisco and any other California port until 21 passengers and crew members suffering from flu-like symptoms were tested for the coronavirus. 

UPDATE 3/6/20: VP Mike Pence announces testing has confirmed 21 COVID 19 cases on board.

Cruise Tracker showed that by 4:30 a.m. the ship — carrying about 2,500 passengers — was moving up the California coast and was off Big Sur.

In a news release Wednesday night, Princess Cruises said the plan was for the U.S. Coast Guard to deliver sampling kits to the ship Thursday morning via helicopter. The onboard medical team would then administer the test with the samples being sent in batches by helicopter to a state testing lab in Richmond.

  

COVID-19 Test Kits being delivered to Grand Princess off San Francisco, March 5, 2020.

Cruise line officials placed the number of those who needed to be tested to fewer than 100.

“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 onboard 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 release read.

Newsom said that 11 passengers and 10 crew members have developed flu-like symptoms and needed to be tested before clearance to San Francisco — where the cruise to Hawaii began — or any other California port would be given.

A sick crew member was removed from the Grand Princess before it left Hawaii and returned to California.

“One crew member who had served on the February 11 voyage was medically disembarked from the Grand Princess in Hawaii (on the most recent voyage) with influenza like symptoms and has tested negative for COVID-19,” San Francisco health officials said….

read … Coronavirus Fears Keeps Grand Princess In Limbo Off California Coast

  *   *   *   *   *

UPDATE: 21 on cruise ship off California test positive for virus

AP March 6, 2020: … Twenty-one people aboard a mammoth cruise ship off the California coast tested positive for the new coronavirus, including 19 crew members, Vice President Mike Pence announced Friday, amid evidence the vessel was the breeding ground for a deadly cluster of at least 10 cases during its previous voyage.

Federal officials have been working with the state and “we have developed a plan to bring the ship to a non-commercial port,” Pence said. “All passengers and crew will be tested for the virus. Those that will need to be quarantined will be quarantined. Those who will require medical help will receive it.”

Princess Cruises said 45 of the more than 3,500 people on board were tested in the first round. A military helicopter crew lowered test kits onto the 951-foot (290-meter) Grand Princess by rope Thursday and later retrieved them for analysis as the vessel waited off San Francisco, under orders to keep its distance from shore.

Health officials trying to establish whether the virus is circulating on the Grand Princess undertook the testing after reporting that a passenger on a previous voyage of the ship, in February, died of the disease.

In the past few days, health authorities disclosed that at least nine other people who were on the same journey were also found to be infected. And some passengers on that trip stayed aboard for the current voyage….

read … 21 on cruise ship off California test positive for virus

Background:  

SA: Gov. Ige declares state of emergency after death of passenger on cruise ship that visited Hawaii

MN: More than 50 passengers aboard a cruise ship that anchored off Lahaina on Friday were possibly exposed to the novel coronavirus on a previous voyage

HTH: State monitoring cruise ship that had virus cases 

News Release: Gov. Ige issues emergency proclamation for COVID-19

PDF: Hawaii Emergency Proclamation

USA Today: The ship was on its way to Mexico from a Hawaiian port, according to CruiseMapper when it was diverted to its current position off of San Francisco. 

USA Today: Dead patient was exposed to the virus on a cruise from February 11 to 21 between San Francisco and Mexico

WSJ: West Coast-based liner called the Grand Princess  

MIJ: 50 Marin cruise passengers exposed to coronavirus

News Release: Governor Newsom Declares State of Emergency to Help State Prepare for Broader Spread of COVID-19

News Release: Sudden Reversal: Josh Green Appointed to Head Corona Virus Response

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