Four Test Positive for Coronavirus Aboard Cruise Ship Ruby Princess
On Friday, the public health agency for Australia's most populous state reported that four people aboard the cruise ship Ruby Princess have tested positive for COVID-19. They were identified due to enhanced screening measures that the agency has put in place for cruise ship operations.
The Ruby Princess departed Sydney, Australia on March 8, bound for New Zealand, and she returned to her berth in Sydney on Thursday morning. About 2,650 passengers disembarked, and all were asked to self-isolate for a period of 14 days - the same request that New South Wales is making for all international travelers as part of an ongoing public health quarantine order. Most are Australian nationals, but about 20 percent are Americans.
About 100 crewmembers also disembarked and headed for their home countries.
Three of the confirmed cases were passengers who disembarked from the ship after it docked yesterday. One, a resident of Tasmania, is now being assessed at a Sydney hospital. The second was disembarked and taken directly to the hospital. The third came to the hospital voluntarily after leaving the ship in order to get tested. The fourth case is a crewmember who is still on board in isolation. All close contacts of the confirmed cases are being identified and informed.
"All four had reported flu-like symptoms during the cruise, and, along with their stateroom occupants, were in isolation on board the ship minimizing contact with other guests and crew," Princess Cruises said in a statement.
The Ruby Princess is now in quarantine just off the coast of Sydney, with all remaining crew still on board.