CALIFORNIA, USA — You can watch the entire livestream here, which ends in a press conference at the White House:
Some passengers who have been held aboard a ship off the coast of San Francisco are scheduled to be quarantined at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego until full coronavirus testing can be completed, federal health officials announced Sunday.
Officials emphasized that no one on board will be released immediately to the general public.
The ship arrived at an Oakland, CA port on Monday around noon.
One of those passengers is Cheri Stinson from the San Diego neighborhood of Clairemont. She was already packed and wearing her sunglasses when we did a face-time interview.
"None of us are looking forward to another 14 days away from home," said Stinson. "We all have families and pets [and] grandkids. We're anxious to get home to but we know it's necessary for everybody's health and safety."
Stinson seemed optimistic on Monday.
"There are tv and movies [and] a lot of entertainment, so we kept busy and [are] pretty happy, but everybody's anxious to get home," she said.
At least 21 of the roughly 3,000 people on board the Grand Princess cruise have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Health and Human Services Office and the California Office of Emergency Services released a joint statement on Monday emphasizing the missions emphasis on the health of passengers and the partner communities:
“The State of California continues to work in partnership with the federal government to aid in the safe return of passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship. The entire mission is centered around protecting the health of the passengers, and ensuring that when the passengers disembark, the public health of the United States, the State of California, and partner communities is protected.”
On Sunday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the ship will dock in Oakland on Monday, when 962 passengers who are California residents will complete the mandatory quarantine at Travis Air Force Base, about 50 miles northeast of Oakland, and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.
Other United States passengers will be taken to Joint Base San Antonio Lackland in Texas or Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, at a Sunday afternoon news conference, said cruise passengers will likely disembark at the Port of Oakland on Monday.
The governor said foreign passengers will leave the ship and board charter buses to be taken to the Oakland Airport. There they will board charter planes to be repatriated to their country of origin. U.S. passengers will board charter buses and be taken to Travis Air Force Base. California residents will be split up between Travis Air Force Base and MCAS Miramar to undergo testing and a 14-day quarantine.
"The entire operation -- we hope -- will be a two- or three-day process," Newsom said. "We ask patience."
No one on board will be released immediately to the general public.
Passengers who require medical treatment and hospitalization will be taken to health-care facilities in California.
The crew will be quarantined and treated aboard the ship.
"The Port of Oakland was chosen because it is one of a limited number of docks that can accommodate a ship the size of the Grand Princess, and because it was the easiest to seal off, securely move passengers toward their isolation destinations and protect the safety of the public," the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services said in a statement.
On Saturday evening, the captain told passengers that a cruise ship hit by the coronavirus is headed to the port of Oakland, California.
Grand Princess Capt. John Smith told passengers in an audio address that the ship will dock in Oakland, California, likely Sunday afternoon.
Princess Cruises changed the anticipated docking day to Monday in a late tweet on Saturday night referencing the logistics plan with the state and federal authorities. The ship is now planning to dock on Monday in Oakland with a time to still be determined.
"A host of California bases, including Miramar MCAS, are under consideration," said a spokeperson from the U.S. Department of Defense.
Smith told passengers that people who require “acute medical treatment and hospitalization” will be taken to health care facilities in California.
Other guests will be taken to federally operated isolation sites or transported out of California. The captain said he was not given any information about non-U.S. citizens. The ship is carrying more than 3,500 people from 54 countries.
“The Department of Defense is working closely with Health and Human Services to determine the potential installations and lodging requirements for quarantine operations for the passengers currently aboard the Grand Princess," said the U.S. Department of Defense. "As with previous efforts, the DoD would provide housing and HHS would be responsible for the aspects of the quarantine."
The 15-day Hawaiian Islands cruise was supposed to end Saturday, but federal authorities didn't allow the ship to dock as planned and placed it on quarantine as a precaution for the coronavirus.
On its return to San Francisco, the ship was supposed to stop in Ensenada, but instead sailed back to the Bay Area when officials learned that a California man, who traveled on the same ship last month contracted coronavirus and died this week. The 21 people who tested positive for coronavirus are being kept in isolation.
Coronavirus / COVID-19 Background
According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
The CDC also says facemasks should only be used by people who show symptoms of the virus. If you’re not sick, you do not have to wear a facemask. The CDC says the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low.