Coronavirus update: Dozens on cruise ship off California coast soon to be quarantined on Georgia base

Georgia

FILE – In this Feb. 11, 2020, file photo, the Grand Princess cruise ship passes the Golden Gate Bridge as it arrives from Hawaii in San Francisco. Scrambling to keep the coronavirus at bay, officials ordered the cruise ship to hold off the California coast Thursday, March 5, to await testing of those aboard, after a passenger on an earlier voyage died and at least one other became infected. (Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

Some of the passengers who have been stranded on a cruise ship off the California coast because of the coronavirus will soon be quarantined on a Georgia military base, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office announced Sunday morning.

“I have learned that 34 Georgians and additional American citizens from the eastern United States who are currently on the Grand Princess cruise ship off the California coast will be securely transferred to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia,” the news release stated. “These passengers will undergo testing and be quarantined for possible exposure to COVID-19.”

They are expected to arrive at Dobbins late Monday, March 9 or early Tuesday, March 10, according to the governor’s office.

Kemp said he is confident the Georgia base can handle the situation.

“I am confident that Dobbins is equipped to provide high-quality care for Americans in need while keeping Georgia families safe, and our state stands ready to assist our federal partners if requested,” the release stated. “In the days and weeks ahead, I encourage Georgians to pray for the patients affected by COVID-19 and their healthcare providers. We must continue to support one another, trust the advice of the medical community, and remain vigilant.”

The Grand Princess is carrying more than 3,500 people from 54 countries. It is expected to dock in Oakland, Calif., as early as Monday. At least 21 people aboard the ship, including 19 crew members, have tested positive for the virus, according to Vice President Mike Pence.

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