Preps underway to receive ship passengers in Oakland
OAKLAND, CA (AP) – Federal and state officials in California prepared to receive thousands of people Monday from a cruise ship that has been idling off the coast of San Francisco with at least 21 people aboard infected with the coronavirus.
Fences were installed at an 11-acre site at the Port of Oakland as authorities readied flights and buses to whisk the passengers aboard the ship to military bases or their home countries for a 14-day quarantine.
The more than 3,500 passengers and staff on the ship hail from 54 countries.
As the U.S. death toll from the virus reached at least 21 and the number of cases worldwide soared above 110,000, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the mayor of Oakland sought to reassure the public that none of the Grand Princess passengers would be exposed to the U.S. public before completing the quarantine.
The number of infections in the United States climbed above 500 as testing for the virus increased.
The Port of Oakland was chosen for docking because of its proximity to an airport and a military base, Newsom said.
U.S. passengers will be transported to military bases in California, Texas and Georgia, where they’ll be tested for the COVID-19 virus and quarantined.
About 1,100 crew on the ship, 19 of whom have tested positive for the new virus, will be quarantined and treated aboard the ship, which will dock elsewhere, Newsom said