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California Holds Cruise Ship Offshore for COVID-19 Testing

State declares state of emergency as U.S. Coast Guard delivers testing kits to cruise ship

THURSDAY, March 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) — California declared a state of emergency Wednesday as health officials kept a cruise ship linked to the state’s first COVID-19 death from docking in San Francisco.

The U.S. Coast Guard was to deliver testing kits Thursday to the Grand Princess, where 62 passengers have been quarantined in their cabins because they were on the first leg of the cruise with a California man who died of COVID-19 on Wednesday, CNN reported. A helicopter will deliver the passenger samples to a lab in the San Francisco area for testing. Roughly 2,500 passengers are on board the ship, which was returning to San Francisco from Hawaii, the second leg of the cruise. Eleven passengers and 10 crew members are showing symptoms.

California health officials said Wednesday that the state now has 53 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The one death involved a 71-year-old man from Placer County who had underlying health conditions and had traveled on the Grand Princess from San Francisco to Mexico in February, CNN reported. It is the first U.S. COVID-19 death reported outside Washington state.

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 New Yorkers were asked to self-quarantine as another five cases were reported in the New York City area. New York now has a total of 11 cases. A total of 159 U.S. COVID-19 cases have now been confirmed, with 11 deaths, CNN reported.

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