A cruise ship hit by the new coronavirus is headed to the port of Oakland, California, authorities said Sunday, though passengers were destined to stay aboard the ship for at least another day.
California’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) said a joint state and federal effort will get underway Monday to disembark passengers from the ship in the Port of Oakland. Sick passengers will be taken to medical facilities in California, and those who don’t require immediate care will be housed in federal facilities “for testing and isolation.”
California residents will be brought to facilities within the state, and non-residents will be taken to locations in other states, including a military base in Marietta, Georgia. OES said 1,000 passengers are California residents.
OES said the ship will leave Oakland after all passengers are disembarked, and 1,100 crew members will remain quarantined and receive treatment on the ship off the coast of California.
Nineteen crew members and two passengers have tested positive for COVID-19. The ship is carrying more than 3,500 people from 54 different countries, according to The Associated Press.
The president, speaking Friday at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said he would prefer not to allow the passengers onto American soil but would defer to the recommendations of medical experts.
“They would like to have the people come off. I’d rather have the people stay but … I told them to make the final decision,” the president said.
“Those that will need to be quarantined will be quarantined. Those who will require medical help will receive it,” Vice President Michael Pence said Friday.
The number of cases worldwide continues to climb. According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins , there have been more than 107,000 confirmed cases of the virus as of Sunday morning. More than 60,000 people have recovered, and more than 3,600 people have died.
There have been 20 deaths in the U.S. — 17 in Washington state and one in California, as well as the two in Florida. There are confirmed cases of the virus in 32 states and Washington, D.C.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.