Nearly 500 Princess Cruise Ship Evacuees Under Quarantine At MCAS Miramar
Thursday, March 12, 2020
Credit: Michele Smith via AP
UPDATE: 1 p.m., March 13, 2020:
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One of the passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship in quarantine at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar has tested positive for novel coronavirus, county health officials announced Thursday.
California Gov. Gavin Newsome also acknowledged Thursday there are passengers on the cruise ship who've contracted COVID-19.
"We are aware of a number of people who have tested positive that have come off ship in addition to the 21 who were originally tested," Gov. Newsom said. "Two that were passengers, 19 that were crew members, one in Canada and one down in Miramar, but that information is coming in real-time. That's all I know about those individuals at this stage."
Nearly 500 passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship in Oakland will remain at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Friday as part of a mandatory 14-day quarantine at the base.
Two additional flights arrived Thursday, bringing the total number of cruise ship evacuees housed at the base to around 480, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. One flight, carrying 114 people, landed on base around 2:30 p.m. Thursday and another flight, carrying 90 passengers, landed around 9:30 p.m.
Roughly 270 cruise ship evacuees arrived at the base Wednesday afternoon, joining 42 passengers who arrived Tuesday.
The ship, which had roughly 3,500 people aboard — at least 900 of them Californians — was held off the coast of Northern California before it was allowed to dock in Oakland on Monday.
Tuesday's group of 42 Southern California residents who were aboard the ship arrived at MCAS Miramar around 9:30 p.m. on a flight from Oakland to begin a 14-day quarantine, during which they will be monitored to determine if they develop any symptoms.
Col. Charles Dockery, commanding officer MCAS Miramar, sent a letter to Marines, sailors and their families.
"The broad concept of our support will be the same as our previous efforts," he wrote. "As with the previous mission, all passengers entering quarantine will have been deemed asymptomatic by health care professionals. Passengers will remain quarantined throughout the 14-day period and there will be no contact with DOD personnel."
Other California residents from the cruise ship will be housed at Travis Air Force Base northeast of Oakland.
Cruise ship passengers who are residents of other states were being taken to Joint Base San Antonio Lackland in Texas or Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia.
This is the second time Miramar has been used as a quarantine facility due to coronavirus. More than 200 people who were evacuated from Wuhan, China — the epicenter of the outbreak — were housed at the facility last month. Two of those people eventually tested positive for the virus, but they were hospitalized and have since recovered and been released.
The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a "pandemic" on Wednesday due to its worldwide reach and impact.
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