Passengers held on cruise ship docked in Long Beach while one person is tested for coronavirus; result negative

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Passengers are being held aboard a Carnival Cruise ship docked in the Port of Long Beach Saturday while one passenger who was hospitalized undergoes coronavirus testing, city officials said. The test came back negative late Saturday.

“A decision was made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to hold the passengers on the ship until the patient can be evaluated and tested for COVID-19,” Long Beach city spokeswoman Kate Kuykendall said in a statement to KTLA.

The Long Beach Fire Department transported the female passenger from the Carnival Panorama to a hospital and her condition is unknown. Officials did not provide information on her age or symptoms.

She was described by cruise director Matt Mitcham as being a U.S. citizen who has not traveled internationally.

Mitcham wrote on Instagram that guests will be held until at least 6 p.m. since testing could take up most of the afternoon.

“We will not be cleared for debarkation until those results are back and it confirms a negative test,” Mitcham.

But as 6 p.m. came and went with no results, a memo authored by Carnival Vice President of Guest Services Colleen Oliviero informed passengers that the ship was expected to take on new passenger and depart Sunday, shortening its voyage by one day.

“It is obvious the lab has missed that (6 p.m.) deadline,” Oliviero said.

City officials announced Sunday night that the COVID-19 test had returned a negative result. Passengers were expected to be able to leave the ship Sunday morning.

Passengers who had been waiting all day to board the ship for a planned voyage to begin Saturday were offered reimbursement for hotel and meal costs, as the departure was delayed until at least Sunday.

Online, some passengers complained of being stuck aboard the ship for hours.

“The team are working hard to keep all our guests comfortable and informed,” Mitcham wrote on Facebook.

The Carnival Panorama has 15 decks and can carry over 4,700 passengers. The cruise travels the Mexican Riviera from Long Beach, making stops at Cabo San Lucas, Mzatlán and Puerto Vallarta.

Another cruise ship, the Grand Princess, is circling in international waters off the San Francisco Bay Area after 21 passengers and crew members tested positive for coronavirus.

The ship was blocked from docking in San Francisco after a passenger who was on a prior cruise died of COVID-19 in Placer County a few days after disembarking.

Meanwhile, travelers planning to board the Royal Princess cruise ship docked at San Pedro on Saturday learned their voyage was cancelled after it was determined a crew member assigned to the vessel had recently transferred from the Grand Princess.

A test could not be completed in time for the cruise to continue as planned, a Princess Cruise Lines representative said.

“We share in our guests’ disappointment in the cancelled cruise and are sorry we could not communicate sooner given the lack of information,” the company said in a written statement. Therefore, all guests will receive a full refund of their cruise fare, Princess Air, Princess Cruise Plus pre- and post-cruise hotel packages, prepaid shore excursions and other prepaid items purchased through Princess Cruises.”

As of Friday, there were 69 confirmed cases in the state, including 24 people who arrived on repatriation flights.

Los Angeles County had 14 confirmed cases as of Saturday.

Eight of the cases involve a group that had traveled together to Northern Italy, two are Los Angeles International Airport medical screeners, two are family members who were infected by another relative, one who had recently returned from a conference in Washington, D.C and another person who has already fully recovered after arriving from Wuhan, China.

KTLA’s Brian Day contributed to this report.

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