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Holland America cruise line takes coronavirus precautions ahead of ship's San Diego arrival and departure

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Posted at 12:21 PM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 11:45:45-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A cruise line with a ship arriving in San Diego this weekend said they are taking necessary safety precautions in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Holland America’s ms Rotterdam is scheduled to arrive in San Diego early Saturday morning, with the ship then taking a new wave of passengers on a 16-day cruise to the Panama Canal that departs at 5 p.m.

With numerous cruise ships around the world being forced to quarantine its passengers due to confirmed or possible cases of the coronavirus, Holland America officials told 10News they are closely monitoring the latest developments.

“Our medical experts are coordinating closely with global health authorities to implement enhanced screening, prevention and control measures for our ships globally,” Holland America officials said.

Holland America said they have implemented these safety measures:

  • Guests who have traveled from or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau, or had contact with a suspected or confirmed case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or a person who is under monitoring for coronavirus in the last 14 days prior to sailing will not be permitted to board the ship.
  • Pre-Boarding medical evaluations, including temperature checks, for persons whom, for any reason, appear or identify as symptomatic (respiratory or fever symptoms); and
  • For all guests, our standard pre-boarding health reporting advising of their reporting obligations for any illness or symptoms of an illness.
  • Medical screening for Coronavirus on all guests who visit our onboard Medical Center with symptoms of any respiratory illness.
  • Reporting to local and national health authorities of all cases of fever and respiratory illness, and any patients with suspected Coronavirus infection.
  • Crew members from mainland China will be delayed from joining any ship until further notice. Crew members from other regions of the world who may have been scheduled to connect on flights through China have been rerouted.
  • Additional environmental disinfection onboard will be performed in addition to our regular stringent cleaning and sanitation protocols.

Holland America noted that their implemented measures could change at any time based on “the interests of health and safety of our guests and crew as well as any other requirements that may be imposed by local authorities.”

Port of San Diego officials said the agency works with the cruise lines, ship agents, the CDC, Coast Guard's Office of Emergency Management and Customs and Border Protection "on a case-by-case basis."

Port officials also said their marine terminal staff is trained on the following procedures:

1. Marine terminal staff is notified that a vessel is arriving with a potential communicable disease onboard

2. Marine terminal staff gathers all the pertinent information including:

  • The type suspected infectious disease, and the number of individuals potentially affected
  • Decontamination requirements (set by the CDC in conjunction with the cruise lines who in turn work with the Port to contract an outside vendor to sweep the terminal and vessel)
  • What public health agencies will be reporting to the vessel
  • Quarantine requirements (set by the CDC in conjunction with the cruise lines)

3. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) provides direction to the ship and Port staff. Port employees are notified and given infection control recommendations and personal protective equipment requirements. Note: Per Port policy, Port employees shall not board a vessel reporting a potential communicable disease.

CBP also has jurisdiction and decision-making authority with regards to vessel clearance, quarantine and other requirements.