Story at a glance
- An elderly man with underlying health conditions who was a passenger on the ship last month died from COVID-19 this week.
- A number of current passengers reported experiencing symptoms.
- The cruise ship was held offshore Wednesday after returning to San Francisco from Hawaii.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said Wednesday a cruise ship that previously carried a passenger who became infected with the coronavirus and died is being held offshore near San Francisco as passengers and crew experiencing symptoms are undergoing tests.
Newsom said testing kits are being flown out to the ship and then will be returned with samples for analysis, a process he said Wednesday should produce results in hours.
“So we’re holding that ship, which is thousands of passengers, off the coast, and will be conducting those tests and getting those tests back,” Newsom said during a news conference.
The ship was prohibited from returning to its home port of San Francisco Wednesday from a trip to Hawaii, after it was discovered that two passengers who traveled on the cruise liner to Mexico last month contracted COVID-19.
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One of the patients, an elderly man from Placer County in Northern California, died this week, marking the first death from coronavirus in California. Health officials said the man had underlying health conditions.
State health authorities are reportedly working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to contact roughly 2,500 passengers who were onboard during that voyage. Newsom said dozens of passengers currently on the ship were also on that earlier trip to Mexico.
The governor said the ship would be held offshore until “all the testing and the new protocols and regimes are put into place to secure their arrival.”
Newsom declared a state of emergency Wednesday following the first death from COVID-19 in the state. California has confirmed at least 53 cases.
Meanwhile, Washington state confirmed its 10th coronavirus death, with the total number of confirmed cases at 39.
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