LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — Vice President Mike Pence confirmed Friday that 19 crew members and two passengers aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship have tested positive for coronavirus.
Of the roughly 3,500 passengers on the ship, 46 were tested. Twenty-one came back positive.
“I mean, I would like to test everybody and test me to make sure,” said Monica Achter, a passenger aboard the ship. Food is being delivered to staterooms, and passengers are being asked to keep their doors closed.
A passenger on the same cruise was California’s first confirmed death due to the virus: a 71-year-old man from northern California.
According to the CDC, the man had just returned from Mexico aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship that left San Francisco on February 11, stopped at four ports in Mexico, then returned to San Francisco February 21.
He and most of the other passengers got off the ship but 62 others at risk of infection remained on-board to cruise to the Hawaii islands. The ship stopped at four ports there.
On Wednesday night, that ship sat docked off the coast of northern California until passengers and crew were tested for COVID-19.
In a statement issued Wednesday night from Princess Cruises, a spokesperson said: “In an abundance of caution, these guests and other potential close crew contacts have been asked to remain in their staterooms until screened by our onboard medical team. The safety, health, and well-being of our guests and crew is always our top priority.”
Those tests later came back positive for 21 people out of those who were tested.
On Friday, President Trump visited the CDC and complimented the agencies work. He commented on the situation aboard the Grand Princess, saying that he thought the ship should stay off the coast for now.
“I would be inclined to say leave everybody on the ship for a period of time,” he said.
Both state and federal officials have been working on a plan to get passengers of the Grand Princess back to a non-commercial port this weekend. Pence indicated some of the 3,500 passengers will stay on the ship under quarantine.
Thirteen cases have been confirmed in L.A. County, and the U.S. death toll has risen to 17 as two more people in Florida died from the virus on Friday.
Newsom called a State of Emergency Wednesday “to make additional resources available, formalize emergency actions already underway across multiple state agencies and departments, and help the state prepare for a broader spread of COVID-19,” according to his office.