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Bad News for Cruise Ship Stuck Off Calif. Coast

Looks like the Grand Princess will have to wait at least another day
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 8, 2020 4:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – A cruise ship hit by the new coronavirus and headed to the port of Oakland, Calif., will remain in international waters for at least another day as officials worked on plans to transport passengers to federal facilities around the country, the AP reports. Local officials in California began ordering the closure of schools and public spaces to try to stop the spread of the virus. The largest school district in Northern California canceled classes for a week for its nearly 64,000 students after it was discovered a family in the district was exposed to COVID-19. Gov. Gavin Newsom warned Sunday that more closures are likely around the state as the virus spreads as he prepared for the Monday arrival of the Grand Princess carrying more than 3,500 people from 54 countries.

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Grand Princess Capt. John Smith, in a recording provided by passenger Laurie Miller of San Jose, told passengers Saturday night that "after docking, we will then begin a disembarkation process specified by federal authorities that will take several days." The port at Oakland was chosen because of its proximity to an airport and a military base, Newsom said. It could take up to three days to prepare the port site and get everyone off the ship, he said Sunday. Ship passengers who need medical treatment or hospitalization will go to health care facilities in California, while state residents who don’t require acute medical care “will go to a federally run isolation facility within California for testing and isolation," said the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services.

(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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