Four Australians are on board a cruise ship off the coast of California which has a number of confirmed cases of coronavirus, including one passenger who died from COVID-19.
The Grand Princess is heading towards San Francisco and has at least 15 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 on board, 9News understands.
An unidentified California patient, 71, died from coronavirus nearly two weeks after he returned home from a cruise on the vessel between San Francisco and Mexico.
After the Grand Princess finished it's Mexico trip last month, it went on another cruise to Hawaii. Some passengers on the current cruse were on the previous one with the patient who died.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said in a press conference today 11 passengers and 10 crew members on the ship are "symptomatic".https://www.facebook.com/PrincessCruises/posts/10158342759789060?__xts__
The ship will be held at sea, he said. It is carrying about 2,500 passengers.
The ship is skipping its last port of call in Mexico and will eventually go to San Francisco.
The cruise ship is run by the same company which operates the Diamond Princess, which was docked and quarantined in Japan after a number of COVID-19 cases emerged.
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California authorities confirmed Wednesday that a US person who died from COVID-19 had recently been on the cruise.
The patient had underlying health conditions, and probably was exposed to the virus on a cruise from February 11 to 21 between San Francisco and Mexico, Placer County health officials said.
In a statement, Princess Cruises said it had been notified by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention that there was a "small cluster" of cases from that cruise.
"All of us at Princess Cruises offer our sincerest and heartfelt condolences to the family and all who are impacted by this loss," the company said.
A person from Sonoma County and another person who was on the cruise also have contracted the virus, officials said.
The Grand Princess is in the Pacific after traveling to Hawaii, and cruisegoers on this voyage and the previous one received a health advisory Wednesday.
Cheri Breault Harris is aboard the ship with her husband, and is confined to her stateroom because she was a passenger on the previous voyage.
There are 62 passengers on the ship who sailed the previous San Francisco-Mexico voyage and remained onboard for the Hawaii one.
"They were going to examine us today, but that never happened. I guess they are waiting for the CDC to say what to do after we get to San Francisco," Harris said.
Grand Princess said federal health officials required people from the previous voyage to remain in their staterooms until they've been cleared.
The cruise ship canceled its call to Ensenada scheduled for Thursday, and said it plans to sail directly to San Francisco.
The exact date and arrival time have not been determined.
"We are not happy about being confined ... Luckily, my husband and I like each other," Harris said.
"Spirits are as high as can be under the circumstances. We are blessed to be healthy, comfortable and well-fed."
"We have shared essential travel and health data with the CDC to facilitate their standard notification to the state and county health authorities to follow up with individuals who may have been exposed to people who became ill," Princess Cruises wrote in the advisory.
Workers from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Coast Guard and state health agencies are going onboard to conduct tests.
Today, Australians evacuated from the Diamond Princess will be allowed to go home after two weeks in isolation near Darwin.
Among the original group from the Diamond Princess was WA man James Kwan, 78, the first Australian to die from the virus.
His wife was also infected and hospitalised.
Reported with CNN.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-latest-news-australians-grand-princess-cruise-ship-san-francisco/c999f2c8-8f93-4859-8645-ea86ee91b678