Grand Princess passengers quarantined in San Carlos

The+Grand+Princess+cruise+ship+is+in+the+process+of+disembarking+passengers+and+quarantining+them%2C+to+prevent+the+spread+of+COVID-19.+

Grand Princess/Teh tennisman/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 1.0

The Grand Princess cruise ship is in the process of disembarking passengers and quarantining them, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

About 120 passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship will be quarantined for 14 days in an unnamed hotel in San Carlos, according to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).

The passengers headed to San Carlos have mild symptoms, although none have been confirmed to be COVID-19. Medical professionals will be on-hand, continuing to test and monitor the patients.

According to KRON 4, the city was chosen due to proximity to SFO airport, which would help get passengers to their home destination faster. Officials have assured the public that there will be no interaction with the general public, so there are no health or safety risks to residents.

“First and foremost, we want to ensure that these Americans, who have faced a great deal of adversity, are in good hands until they can return to their homes,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, a California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary. “Just as important is protecting the public health of our state and the communities that welcome these passengers, including San Carlos and San Mateo County. I couldn’t be more proud of our state, local, and business partners for showing such compassion to our fellow Americans.”

The Grand Princess cruise ship has been docked in the Port of Oakland since Monday, March 9. The cruise ship was first stopped 50 miles off the coast of San Francisco when it was discovered that a guest from the previous voyage to Mexico tested positive for the coronavirus. Nine cases, including one fatality, were reported among the former guests. When the current passengers were checked, 19 crew members and two guests were confirmed to have the virus on March 6. The guests were transferred to local hospitals on March 10, and the asymptomatic crew members remain isolated in their cabins.

According to Princess Cruises, about 1,400 guests have disembarked from the ship since Tuesday, out of the 3,533 people on board. Medical screenings of the passengers and crew, conducted by Health and Human Services, continue, prioritizing those who require the most medical attention. American guests with severe symptoms will be transferred to airbases near Fairfield, San Diego, San Antonio, and Atlanta. International guests will disembark once destinations have been confirmed by their government agencies. The crew members will remain on board, and the ship will leave the San Francisco Bay once all guests have left. The Port of Oakland will be thoroughly decontaminated.

To promote more robust communication with the community in the wake of the global pandemic, San Mateo County has:

  • Established a 24/7 call center (211) where residents can call (or text “coronavirus” to 211211) with non-medical questions about the virus
  • Created a dedicated website with EOC updates at cmo.smgov.org/eoc
  • Proclaimed a local state of emergency