CDC: 4 taken to hospital for further screening after cruise ship docks in NJ
The CDC says a Royal Caribbean
cruise ship that docked in Bayonne this morning screened some of its passengers for the coronavirus, and according to the mayor of Bayonne, four people were transported to University Hospital in Newark for further screening.
A spokesperson for the CDC released a statement, saying, “CDC is aware of two family members on a cruise ship that became ill on board. The family has a travel history to mainland China, but not a history of travel to Hubei Province. CDC staff consulted with New Jersey Department of Health and have decided to test all 4 family members for 2019-Novel Coronavirus out of an abundance of caution. New Jersey Department of Health will facilitate the specimen collection, and the samples will be sent to CDC for testing.”
The Anthem of the Seas ship docked in Bayonne around 6 a.m., and had concerns passengers could potentially have the coronavirus. Shortly after arrival, several ambulances approached the cruise ship. Two people were removed on stretchers.
Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis also released a statement, saying, "I want to provide an update on the Cruise Ship that docked this morning at Cape Liberty. After screening the approximately two dozen passengers of concern, four people were transported to an area hospital for further screening. All other passengers are being debarked at this time with no action needed. I have been advised that the CDC considers this incident "Below Low Risk." I want to thank the CDC, NJ DoH, CBP, PA NY/NJ for their excellent work that was done with an abundance of caution."
The ship was scheduled to sail around 4 p.m., but Royal Caribbean
says, “We will delay our departure until tomorrow, when we expect to receive conclusive test results from CDC.” They will also "be conducting enhanced sanitation in the cruise terminal and onboard, as part of our ongoing illness prevention efforts." Officials say there are were confirmed cases of the virus from passengers aboard the ship.
The ship is scheduled to sail around 4 p.m. Royal Caribbean will "be conducting enhanced sanitation in the cruise terminal and onboard, as part of our ongoing illness prevention efforts." Officials say there are were confirmed cases of the virus from passengers aboard the ship.
Royal Caribbean also released a statement, saying, “Like airlines, we are participating in elevated levels of guest screening to check the spread of coronavirus. We are closely monitoring developments regarding coronavirus and have rigorous medical protocols in place onboard our ships. We continue to work in close consultation with the CDC, the WHO, and local health authorities to align with their guidance and ensure the health and wellbeing of our guests and crew.”
The New Jersey Department of Health has since announced the opening of a hotline, 1-800-222-1222, for the public to ask questions about the novel coronavirus and "alleviate fear and dispel rumors.”
The department also urges residents to check its webpage
for updated information about the coronavirus.
In a statement, Gov. Phil Murphy says, "Personnel from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention boarded a cruise ship docked in Bayonne this morning and screened 27 passengers who recently traveled from mainland China. After being assessed by the CDC, 23 of those passengers were cleared and four individuals are being evaluated at an area hospital. The hospital is following proper infection control protocols while evaluating these individuals. New Jersey currently has no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus and the risk to residents remains low.”
Meanwhile, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is now being designated as a quarantine site for people who may have been exposed to coronavirus.
The air base will assist the Department of Health and Human Services by housing up to 20 individuals with possible exposure to the virus.
People brought to the base will be housed for up to 14 days and observed.
In Japan, a new immigration policy will take effect to keep the virus from spreading further into the country.
It comes after 41 new cases of the virus have been found aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess in Yokohama, Japan, and among them – eight Americans.
In all, 61 people on board have tested positive out of the around 3,700 passengers and crewmembers on the ship. The ship remains under a 14-day quarantine.
So far, more than 630 people worldwide have died, and among them, a Chinese doctor who got in trouble with authorities for warning people about coronavirus -- Dr. Li Wenliang.
The Chinese government accused of him "spreading rumors" after he raised concerns about the virus in December.
In a statement, Dr. Li said he developed a cough back on Jan. 10, and a fever the next day before being hospitalized.
It was confirmed he had the virus just last Saturday.