Cruise to return to San Francisco early after ex-passenger dies of coronavirus

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The CDC announced Wednesday it is investigating a “small cluster” of coronavirus cases linked to passengers who were on a recent voyage aboard a Grand Princess cruise ship.

Some passengers aboard the cruise ship have flu-like symptoms, the CDC says.

The City and County of San Francisco are preparing to provide care as appropriate to those on board as the ship is expected to dock back in San Francisco Thursday afternoon.

The Mayor’s office, Department of Emergency Management, Department of PubliC Health and the Port of San Francisco are working together as San Francisco continues to prepare for COVID-19.

This comes as California announced the state’s first coronavirus death in Placer County.

Health officials said the elderly man who had other health conditions died Wednesday at a hospital in Roseville where he was in isolation.

The man was likely exposed to the virus while he travel in February on a Princess cruise ship from San Francisco to Mexico, officials said in a statement.

Two others who were on the same cruise ship are presumed positive for the coronavirus.

In a health advisory released by Grand Princess – which is operated by Princess Cruises – chief medical officer Dr. Grant Tarling notified guests and crew currently sailing onboard Grand Princess that the ship – which is currently at sea – will not be traveling to Ensenada, Mexico and instead will return directly to San Francisco in order for the CDC to collect information and meet with cruise officials.

The health advisory states the cluster is connected to the ship’s previous voyage that sailed roundtrip from San Francisco from February 11 to 21.

“For those guests who sailed with us on our previous voyage and may have been exposed, in an abundance of caution, the CDC requires you to remain in your stateroom until you have been contacted and cleared by our medical staff,” the statement reads. “A member of our medical team will be calling you between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. You may order room service while you wait for the medical screening to completed.”

At this time the cruise line is offering free internet and phone service so guests can contact family free of charge.

“We are closely recording and monitoring all persons who have reported to the medical center with cold and flu symptoms during the voyage. As a precaution, we are also conducting additional enhanced environmental disinfection onboard in addition to our regular stringent cleaning and sanitation protocols,” the statement reads.

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