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San Diego issues health orders on cruise ships amid COVID-19

Disney Wonder cruise ship
Posted at 3:42 PM, Mar 30, 2020

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Health officials issued two new public health orders Monday addressing cruise ships arriving in San Diego during the coronavirus pandemic.

The orders are meant to give the county more legal framework in how the Port of San Diego interacts with ships and the cruise industry, Dr. Eric McDonald, the county's medical director of epidemiology, said.

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The new orders include:

  • "No passenger or employee may disembark a cruise ship in San Diego harbor without the approval of the health officer or designee if any person on the cruise ship has tested positive for COVID-19. Any cruise ship that is permitted to dock in San Diego harbor shall notify the health officer or designee regarding any emergency medical treatment required for passenger/employee and follow all directives from the health officer or designee.
  • No cruise ship in San Diego harbor may dock or disembark employees or passengers after March 31, 2020. However, upon approval of the health officer, a cruise ship may dock solely for the purposes of receiving fuel and provisions, so long as no employee or passenger disembarks. Cruise ships docked in San Diego harbor shall notify the health officer or designee regarding any emergency medical treatment for a passenger/employee and shall follow all directives of the health officer or designee."

"I know there have been questions about ships that have come before and I can say that the individuals who have all departed these ships in the past to-date and tomorrow all have been screened, have no symptoms, and have no fever, and are leaving to go to their homes of record to complete 14-days of CDC recommended quarantine," McDonald said. "The best place for those individuals to complete quarantine is at home."

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McDonald said 17 San Diegans who were on the Celebrity Eclipse, which arrived Monday, will complete their quarantine locally. The other passengers will travel home for their quarantines.

The only ship that has had positive coronavirus cases is the Disney Wonder, which arrived in San Diego nearly two weeks ago. One passenger and one crew member who each tested positive are currently hospitalized, McDonald said. There are also two pending cases related to the ship and was one emergency evacuation from the ship.

As of Sunday, San Diego County had reported 519 coronavirus cases and seven deaths due to the virus.