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Cal OES explains why Grand Princess cruise ship will dock in Oakland

Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – The Grand Princess cruise ship that has been floating off the Bay Area coast for days will dock at the Port of Oakland sometime on Monday, according to California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

In a statement released on Sunday, Cal OES officials said the state and the federal government have been working on the safe return of the 3,533 people currently on board, including nearly 1,000 Californias.

The ship will dock at the Port of Oakland as soon as Monday, and will only be docked as passengers disembark.

The Port of Oakland was selected as the best place for passengers to depart. Cal OES said in the statement:

There are limited docks that will be able to dock a ship of that size, and the Port of Oakland location was the easiest to seal off, securely move passengers toward their isolation destinations and protect the safety of the public. “

Officials say the passengers will not be released to the general public.

Those who need medical attention will be transported to California health care facilities.

The other passengers will be taken to federally run isolation facilities for testing and isolation. Non-California residents will be transported to facilities in other states by the federal government.

Officials say crew members will be treated and quarantined aboard the ship. Once the ship leaves Oakland, it will remain somewhere else for the crew’s quarantine.

California state officials released the following statements:

“The City of Oakland, Alameda County and the Port of Oakland are stepping up in a major way, and their residents deserve universal praise. They are showing the world what makes our state great – coming to the rescue of thousands of people trapped aboard this ship and helping tackle a national emergency.”

Governor Gavin Newsom

“Oakland’s role in this operation is to support our state and federal authorities as they conduct a critical public health mission to help those impacted by the COVID-19 virus. I appreciate Governor Newsom’s leadership and have been assured no one will be quarantined in Oakland, nor will any passengers be released into the general public. True to our community values, Oakland is a safe harbor for all.” 

Mayor Libby Schaaf

“The Port will provide assistance as necessary for the safe disembarkation of the passengers. There has been close coordination to assure that port operations, port workers and the community are not impacted.”

Danny Wan, Director of the Port of Oakland

“The health of our Bay Area community is our top concern, and we’ve been working across federal and state agencies to protect it.”

Colleen Chawla, Alameda County Public Health Officer.

“With a thousand California residents on the ship, it only makes sense that we all work together to help those in this crisis and ensure that they are quarantined, tested and make their way home when it is safe to do so.”

Senator Nancy Skinner

“California values mean protecting the public and helping those in a crisis. We’re doing both. We are committed to supporting our federal and local health officials to help our fellow Californians get tested and be healthy, and to prevent any exposure to the general public.”

Assemblymember Rob Bonta

Vice President Mike Pence announced Friday afternoon that 21 of the 45 people on board the Grand Princess cruise ship who were tested for COVID-19 had a positive result. Of those 21 — 19 crew members and two passengers have coronavirus.

The testing came about after a man who was on a previous voyage tested positive and died from the coronavirus. He was on the same ship that arrived in San Francisco on Feb. 21 from Mexico.

Princess Cruise officials confirmed there are 3,533 people currently onboard Grand Princess, including 2,422 guests and 1,111 teammates. In total, they represent 54 nationalities.  

Pence said on Friday that everyone on the ship will be tested and quarantined as necessary. He also mentioned that the 1,100 crew members on board will likely be quarantined on the ship and not disembark.

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