Subscribe

2 coronavirus deaths tied to Grand Princess cruise ship, with few tested

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Subscribe

SAN FRANCISCO — Two men who traveled on a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship stalled for days off the California coast have died, federal officials said Thursday, and they confirmed that fewer than half the ship's passengers were tested for the virus despite assurances that everyone would be tested.

The men, both in their early 60s, were on the Grand Princess sailing from San Francisco to Hawaii on Feb. 21 and died from the coronavirus, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

One of the men was transported directly from the ship to a hospital when it docked March 9 in Oakland in the east San Francisco Bay. It had idled for several days off the California coast. The other man was among hundreds taken to Travis Air Force Base in Northern California for a 14-day isolation. He was immediately taken to a hospital after developing symptoms, said Bert Kelly, a spokesman for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One man died Saturday and the other Monday, Kelly said.

There is still no accurate accounting of how many of the 3,500 passengers and crew from 54 countries were infected with COVID-19 after a Northern California man on a previous sailing returned home and died of the virus, sparking the investigation.

Despite assurances from Vice President Mike Pence and California Gov. Gavin Newsom that everyone aboard the ship would be tested after the ship docked, only 1,100 passengers of about 2,400 have been tested, Kelly said. Many of the others declined testing after waiting numerous days in isolation. Kelly said of those tested, 103 have tested positive and 699 were negative. More results are pending.

After Newsom promised on March 12 that “all of these individuals will be tested," his administration has not responded to numerous inquiries over more than a week about who was being tested, when or why.

Taking a test “was actually discouraged, if you were not showing any signs of illness,” said Grand Princess passenger Laurie Miller of San Jose, who spent 14 days at Travis Air Force Base before returning home Tuesday.

Miller and her husband chose not be tested because they hadn't shown symptoms and were told if they tested negative it wouldn’t shorten their quarantine. If the test was inconclusive or results were delayed, they would have had to stay at the base longer, she said.

The ship's passengers were flown or bused to military bases in the U.S. or their home countries for a 14-day isolation while 1,100 crew members scattered to their home countries, including about 500 to the Philippines. The rest of the crew members and six passengers remained on the ship in isolation there. It's unclear how many crew members have been tested.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

All passengers will have completed their 14-day quarantine by Friday, Kelly said.

___

Associated Press writers Juliet Williams in San Francisco and Don Thompson in Sacramento, Calif. contributed to this story.

Please read our commenting policy
  • No profanity, abuse, racism, hate speech or personal attacks on others.
  • No spam or off-topic posts. Keep the conversation to the theme of the article.
  • No disinformation about current events. Claims of "Fake News" will be delayed for moderation
  • No name calling. "Orange Menace", "Libtards", etc. are not respectful.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Spirited Magazine