Cruise ship quarantined over coronavirus expected to dock in Oakland Monday

The ship holding roughly 3,000 people has circled the San Francisco coast for days

Cruise officials from the Grand Princess ship, quarantined 50 miles off the San Francisco coast with at least 21 people who have tested positive for coronavirus, said late Saturday night that the ship is expected to dock at the Port of Oakland sometime on Monday.

Earlier Saturday night, a Princess spokesperson had said that docking was set to occur sometime Sunday, but at about 10:30 p.m. said that, “Centers for Disease Control has just informed us that further modifications of the plan are necessary and will impact the arrival of the ship. The ship will now arrive in the Port of Oakland on Monday.”

According to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, following health screenings, other guests who are California residents will go to an unspecified “federally operated facility within California” for testing and isolation, while non Californians will be transported by the federal government to facilities in other states.

The Grand Princess’s crew will be quarantined and treated aboard the ship, a Princess Cruises spokesperson said Saturday night. The guests aboard the Grand Princess are receiving meal deliveries in their staterooms by room service, and additional TV, movie and other programming channels have been added for them, said Jan Swartz, group president of Princess Cruises.

The Grand Princess was headed from Hawaii to San Francisco before it was halted over concerns about the virus. It remains off the coast of California while authorities determine a “non-commercial port” for it to dock.

Roughly 3,000 people have been aboard the Grand Princess since Feb. 21 and have spent days battling boredom and frustration. Retired Santa Cruz County resident, Rex Lawson, counts himself and his wife the lucky ones, for they have a balcony to intermittenly shout out hellos to fellow passengers.

“The only problem is we’re getting kind of bored,” Lawson said. “We’re anxious to move on. It may be a very, very slow process getting off the ship.”

While 86-year-old Lawson and his 81-year-old wife are in good health and otherwise in good spirits, there is a little worry over the incubation period and being away from medical attention. But he otherwise feels the cruise line has taken good care of them with nice meals, clean towels, and updates. He does draw his ire to President Donald Trump, who sought to keep passengers on the ship to keep rates of infection on the mainland down.

Officials said Friday that 46 aboard the ship were tested for the virus, and 21 were positive – 19 of them crewmembers.

Earlier this week, a Placer County resident died from COVID-19 after returning from a cruise to Mexico on the Grand Princess. A critically ill 70-year-old woman with a non-COVID-19 medical emergency was transported by Coast Guard cutter Saturday morning from the cruise ship, authorities said. The ship’s captain notified the Coast Guard that the woman needed treatment and the Centers for Disease Control recommended she be moved, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard cutter Tern took the passenger and her husband to awaiting emergency crews and CDC personnel at the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco on Yerba Buena Island. The woman was in stable condition as of Saturday afternoon, the Coast Guard said.

On Friday night, a Coast Guard helicopter delivered facemasks and other protective gear provided by Princess Cruises to the cruise ship.

Ida Mojadad contributed to this report.

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