Coronavirus testing to begin today aboard cruise ship held off California coast


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday ordered the Grand Princess cruise ship to stay offshore until some of its guests and crew members can be tested for the coronavirus.

Today the US Coast Guard will fly in test kits via helicopter.

35 passengers on the ship showed flu-like symptoms at some point but many of them have recovered, health officials said Thursday.

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Testing protocols are being put in place on the ship for those passengers and crew that have shown symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus, and that process is expected to begin today.

It’s important to note that there are no confirmed cases currently on board yet.

But keep in mind that this is the same cruise ship that was docked in San Francisco after a trip to Mexico.

On that trip, an elderly man from Rocklin ended up dying from the coronavirus just two days later at a hospital in Roseville.

Officials said at least one other person on board that trip was also infected.

Before it was known the passenger was sick and died, the ship took off from San Francisco for another trip to Hawaii, with some of the same passengers and crew members.

The ship was halted by Governor Newsom when it became known about the death and when other people on board began experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Now there are concerns about whether they have exposed people at the ship terminal to the virus.

Once testing is complete the kits will be airlifted to Richmond for testing.

Officials said no one will be allowed to get off the ship until all test results have been received.

There is no word yet on when or where the ship will dock.

Out of precaution, all guests waiting on testing have been ordered to remain in their rooms.

Princess Cruises has canceled the trip to Hawaii, and all guests will receive a refund, according to officials.

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