Utahns return from weeklong quarantine on Grand Princess cruise ship

The Grand Princess cruise ship sails into San Francisco Bay. Photo Courtesy: National Guard

UTAH, March 16, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — More than 20 Utahns aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship have now arrived home after a weeklong quarantine.

The 23 Utahns arrived from Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia on Sunday evening, said a news release from Coronavirus.utah.gov.

“None are showing symptoms of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and have either tested negative or are awaiting test results,” the news release said. “All 23 passengers were on a specific flight chartered by the federal government with other asymptomatic cruise ship passengers from other states.”

Upon arriving in Salt Lake City at the Utah Air National Guard base, the residents were greeted by medical professionals from the Utah Department of Health, given food, and taken to waiting family members and friends to be taken home, the news release said.

“Though they currently have no symptoms, they will be monitored by state or local public health departments dependent upon their individual situations,” the news release said. “They will quarantine for two weeks. They pose no additional risk to the community.”

The Grand Princess cruise ship, with various passengers who eventually tested positive for COVID-19, docked in Oakland March 9. Passengers remained under a federal quarantine order and under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

“This was a complex operation, as the federal government was charged with organizing the travel of thousands of cruise ship passengers from around the United States, some of whom had COVID-19 symptoms,” the news release said.

Due to the complexities, passengers were sent to various facilities around the United States.

Among the thousands of passengers on that ship were 37 Utah residents. For the past week, various state agencies have been united in a planning effort to get them back home, including Utah Department of Health, Utah Division of Emergency Management and Utah National Guard.

“These agencies are committed to receiving the remaining 14 Utahns, currently at various locations in California and Texas, once they are released by our federal partners,” the news release said.


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