A cruise ship linked to the first coronavirus death in California is being held off the coast of San Francisco, with 21 people on board reporting possible symptoms.
The death of a 71-year-old man on Wednesday was the first American death reported outside the state of Washington, bringing the total number of deaths to 11 and causing the governor of California to declare a state of emergency. The state is fighting the virus on multiple fronts with 53 confirmed cases.
The man who died was one of three people who tested positive for coronavirus after traveling on a Grand Princess round trip cruise from San Francisco to Mexico last month.
After the ship docked in San Francisco on February 21, thousands more passengers boarded and thousands disembarked. The ship then began a round trip to Hawaii.
On the return leg of the trip to Hawaii, 11 passengers and 10 crew members reported flu-like symptoms, said Gavin Newsom, governor of California, at a press conference. An additional crew member who had served on the trip to Mexico was medically landed in Hawaii with symptoms similar to those of the flu and was negative for the coronavirus, according to San Francisco public health officials.
The ship was scheduled to arrive in San Francisco on Wednesday night, but authorities requested that it delay its return while the US Coast Guard. UU. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coordinated the tests. The plan was for the ship to remain in international waters off the coast of California while a helicopter conducted tests on board and then returned the samples to a laboratory for analysis.
In addition to the 21 people who reported flu-like symptoms, officials planned to evaluate the 62 passengers on the trip to Mexico who remained on board for the trip to Hawaii, as well as an unknown number of crew members. The cruise line ordered those guests to remain in their cabins until the medical staff authorized them.
According to an estimate, more than 50% of the passengers who disembarked from the cruise on February 21 were Californians, Newsom said, not including the crew. In total, the state and the CDC are working to locate some 2,500 people across the state who disembarked from the ship and could be at risk.
This was one of the factors that led Newsom to declare a state of emergency in California on Wednesday. “There are a number of people we are monitoring,” he said. “We are going through this manifesto and, obviously, the concern that people are on a tour traveling together, not only on the ship, but also transported together, highlights the need to focus more sharply on those who may have been in closer contact with the individual who died tragically. “
It is still unclear whether passengers will be forced to remain on board as the passengers who were trapped on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, infected with coronavirus, for more than two weeks off the coast of Japan.