California coronavirus death linked to cruise ship

Coronavirus cluster connected to Grand Princess, cruise line says

Cruise line Princess warned passengers Wednesday that health officials are investigating a cluster of COVID-19 coronavirus cases connected to one of its voyages.

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The cluster under investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was connected to a roundtrip voyage from San Francisco by the Grand Princess from Feb. 11-21, Princess said in a public notice.

Health officials in Placer County, California, said Wednesday that an “elderly adult with underlying health conditions” had died from coronavirus, the first death linked to the outbreak in California. The patient had been a passenger on the Grand Princess cruise, officials said.

The Grand Princess (Credit: Princess)

CORONAVIRUS AND HOW TO STAY HEALTHY ON A CRUISE

The cruise line advised that any passengers of that particular voyage who experience symptoms including acute respiratory illness with fever, chills or cough to contact a medical provider.

For any passengers who are still cruising, Princess said they must remain in their rooms until being cleared by medical staff.

The cruise line said the Grand Princess will be skipping a call to Ensenada, Mexico, which had been scheduled for Thursday, so the ship can instead sail directly to San Francisco for further review.

Princess is the same cruise line that operates the Diamond Princess, which was quarantined in Japan for more than two weeks after hundreds of passengers tested positive for coronavirus.

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Passengers stand on the deck of the Diamond Princess cruise ship anchored at Yokohama Port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. (Yuta Omori/Kyodo News via AP)

SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST, DESPITE CORONAVIRUS, WILL GO ON

Health officials said people can reduce their risk of catching the virus by washing hands often with soap and water using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoiding close contact with anyone who’s ill, covering coughs and sneezes and avoid touching their face with unwashed hands. Anyone who’s particularly vulnerable, such as older people and those with underlying health conditions, should stay at home as much as possible, health officials said.

There were more than 93,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3,100 deaths attributed to the virus worldwide as of Wednesday, according to the World Health Organization. In the U.S., there were more than 100 confirmed cases and 11 deaths.

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