One Additional Grand Princess Passenger Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Grand Princess at the Port of Oakland, as seen from the Bay Area Rapid Transit train, March 11 (image via social media)

Published Mar 11, 2020 2:05 PM by The Maritime Executive

One additional passenger from the quarantined cruise ship Grand Princess has tested positive for the novel coronavirus after returning to Canada, the Canadian government announced on Wednesday morning.

Two passengers and 19 crewmembers tested positive for the virus while the  vessel was held off the coast of California. The additional case had no symptoms prior to boarding a chartered flight to a military base in Ontario.  About 230 Canadian nationals from Grand Princess are spending the next two weeks in quarantine at Canadian Forces Base Trenton.

Upon arrival at the base, Canadian passengers were screened a second time. One individual exhibited a cough and a mild fever, and testing confirmed that the person had the novel coronavirus. The passenger is being kept in isolation. 

As of 1900 hours on March 10, about 1,400 people have disembarked Grand Princess, operator Princess Cruises said in a statement Tuesday night, leaving about 1,000 to go. Disembarkation is proceeding in the order of passenger priority, and is under the control of federal and state officials. 

From the outset, the process has been expected to take several days, but passengers - and the vessel's master - have expressed concerns about clarity issues surrounding the protocol. The California Office of Emergency Services told local media Wednesday morning that the goal is to get all remaining passengers off the ship by the end of the day. 

Qualifying residents of Utah, Oklahoma and Nevada will be allowed to return to their homes and self-quarantine, according to health officials and passengers on board. Other American nationals face a mandatory two-week quarantine at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego, Travis Air Force Base near Sacramento, Lackland Air Force Base in Texas or Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia.

The relief organization World Central Kitchen has set up a temporary commissary on the pier and is helping to provide food service to those still quarantined on board. "Meals will continue to include breakfast, lunch and dinner, which will be delivered to staterooms and will accommodate all dietary requirements," Princess said in a statement.