Carrying multiple people who have tested positive for COVID-19, the Grand Princess maintains a holding pattern about 30 miles off the coast of San Francisco, Sunday, March 8, 2020. The cruise ship is scheduled to dock at the Port of Oakland on Monday. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Coronavirus-infected cruise ship carrying Canadians set to dock in California

There are 21 people diagnosed with COVID-19 aboard the Grand Princess

A cruise ship that’s been floating off the coast of California for days amid coronavirus concerns is set to dock in Oakland today, setting the stage for Ottawa to bring the 237 Canadians aboard the Grand Princess back home.

Global Affairs Canada announced late yesterday that it had chartered a plane to fly the stranded Canadians to the air force base in Trenton, though it did not provide a timeline for when that would happen.

There are 21 people diagnosed with COVID-19 aboard the Grand Princess, which is carrying more than 3,500 people from 54 countries. There’s no word on the nationalities of the patients.

READ MORE: Feds secure plane to bring Canadians home from coronavirus-stricken Grand Princess

The ship had been forbidden to dock in San Francisco amid evidence the vessel was the breeding ground for a cluster of at least 20 cases, including one death, after a previous voyage. Several people in Canada aboard that earlier voyage have since tested positive for the illness.

Those currently on the Grand Princess will be screened for symptoms before they board the plane, and the passengers who exhibit them will stay in the U.S. for further assessment. Passengers without any symptoms will be quarantined for 14 days upon their arrival in Canada, the government said.

“We are working hard to help Canadians return home and make sure appropriate measures are in place to prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19,” Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a written statement.

“The decision to repatriate Canadians on board the Grand Princess follows a request for assistance from the government of the United States, recognizing the importance of closely working together to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

Ottawa has recommended against cruise ship vacations in the wake of the international COVID-19 outbreak, saying the frequent interaction and close quarters on board serve as a breeding ground for the virus.

Last month, 129 Canadians and their families were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, where they had been confined to their cabins as the vessel was docked in Yokohama.

That ship saw upwards of 600 people diagnosed with COVID-19, including 47 Canadians who couldn’t be evacuated with their countrymen. The outbreak was, at the time, the largest cluster of cases outside of mainland China, though it’s since been surpassed many times over.

There are now more than 100,000 cases worldwide, with the largest group still in China. But massive outbreaks have developed outside the virus’s epicentre, including in South Korea, Iran and Italy.

In Canada over the weekend, the case count climbed past 60, with 32 diagnoses in Ontario, 27 in British Columbia, two in Quebec and one in Alberta. Several other cases are considered “presumptive” and have to be confirmed by the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg before they are added to the official list.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

More snow expected overnight Tuesday: Mainroad

Get ready for another blast of winter. Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting has… Continue reading

Search and Rescue B.C. urge caution during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Search and Rescue Association and Emergency Management B.C. issued a statement… Continue reading

Cranbrook Bucks add two more players to growing roster

A forward and a goaltender have committed to the newest BCHL franchise for next season

EKASS still providing help to those dealing with substance use amid COVID-19

With COVID-19 dominating headlines it can be easy to forget about other… Continue reading

Veterinary clinics considered essential services, continue to help animals

The B.C. government recently released an official list of businesses that are… Continue reading

‘The Office’ star John Krasinski offers Some Good News in trying times

‘The human spirit still found a way to break through and blow us all away’

Canada to spend $2B more on procuring medical supplies for COVID-19 fight

Government has signed deals with three companies

World COVID-19 updates: Putin may be exposed; 30,000 prisoners released

Comprehensive news update from around the world as of Tuesday, March 31.

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

‘This is no joke’: B.C. woman in Alberta hospital asks people to stay home during COVID-19

‘I want people to start listening to what the doctors are saying. This is no joke, please stay home’

Rest stops barring washroom access to truckers a ‘huge problem’ as COVID-19 spreads

Teamsters Canada says truckers are increasingly being denied warm meals

Canadians asked to wash mailboxes, keep dogs at bay, to ensure safe mail delivery

Four postal workers in Canada have tested positive for COVID-19 infection:

Hospitality workers hit ‘first and hit hardest,’ says union seeking more support

Union represents workers in hotels, casinos, airports, arenas, universities, schools and remote resource camps

Most Read