Some people on board a San Francisco-bound cruise ship will be tested for COVID-19, and the ship remains off the coast of California, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday during a state of emergency proclamation.
Thousands of people are on board the Grand Princess, which is on its way back from Hawaii, Newsom said. It left San Francisco bound for Hawaii after traveling to and from Mexico.
A person on the Mexico trip has died of COVID-19. The person was a Placer County resident who disembarked the ship after returning from Mexico. Newsom said the death, the first in California, and the cruise ship headed to the state are the reasons for the emergency proclamation.
“It’s a dynamic situation but nothing that should be alarming,” he said.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed said on Twitter that city officials have been told by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Coast Guard “that a cruise ship originally scheduled to return to San Francisco contains individuals who have exhibited flu-like symptoms.”
Officials with city departments including the mayor’s office, the department of emergency management, department of public health and the Port of San Francisco will be assisting, as needed, the mayor’s office said.
Newsom said that 53 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the state. Twenty-four of those persons were repatriated.
About 9,000 people in the state are being monitored.
The cruise ship off the coast returned to San Francisco from Mexico on Feb. 21, Newsom said. Then it left for Hawaii.
A request was made to delay the ship’s pending arrival in San Francisco and it may be in port Thursday.
CDC spokesman Scott Pauley said they are still in the planning stage.
Newsom said test kits will be flown to the ship and the results will be sent to a lab in Richmond to see if anyone with symptoms has the virus.
California now has 14 labs for testing people for the virus and Newsom said he expects that number to rise to 20.
The state had more than 5,000 test kits as of Wednesday.