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Cruise ship remains stranded off California with coronavirus patients

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Posted at 2:32 PM, Mar 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-07 17:32:46-05

(KGTV) — Thousands of passengers remained stranded on a cruise ship off the San Francisco coastline Saturday, after 21 people aboard tested positive for the new coronavirus this week.

The Grand Princess cruise ship said they are awaiting direction from state and local health officials about where they will be allowed to port. Saturday, a critically ill guest and their travel companion were medically transported to shore from the ship by a U.S. Coast Guard cutter for treatment unrelated to coronavirus.

Saturday, the ship was about 50 miles off the coast and the Bay Area.

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"The safety, health and well-being of our guests and crew is always our top priority, and we continue to make every effort to ensure they are safe and comfortable while they remain onboard," Princess Cruises said in a statement.

The ship was identified as a breeding ground for a cluster of coronavirus cases on a previous trip. A passenger who is believed to have been infected while aboard the ship in February was the first California death due to the virus.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has previously said officials will work to identify all potential COVID-19 patients aboard before deciding how to bring the ship to shore.

Late Friday, gloves and face masks were delivered to the ship by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter. Earlier the same day, the National Guard delivered testing kits and supplies.

In the U.S., 11 people have died from the virus and at least 400 cases have been reported. Many of the U.S. deaths so far have occurred in Washington state.