A cruise ship held at sea for several days for carrying 21 confirmed coronavirus infected people will arrive at California on Monday.
The Grand Princess carries 2,400 passengers and 1,100 crewmembers including several health-compromised children.
Port spokesperson Mike Zampa confirmed that the ship is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Oakland at 3pm ET.
He said, “We will work with (the federal government) to determine an optimal time.”
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said that evacuation would require a systematic approach, starting with the most vulnerable passengers.
“First of all, there are some children there who are compromised. They want to get them off. There are people who have conditions. They want to get them off. You want to get the Americans who are in California off. You want to get the others off who are going to get onto flights and go to different places,” he said.
Authorities readied flights and buses to pick up the passengers aboard the cruise ship to military bases or their home countries for a 14-day quarantine.
The Port of Oakland readied an 11-acre site for the quarantine, where fences are currently being built.
Crewmembers shall remain on the ship, unless they need immediate medical attention.
Dr. John Redd of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked passengers to remain in their rooms, stating, “We’re making every effort to get them off the ship as safely and quickly as possible.”
According to a statement from Travis Air Force Base, the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shall conduct medical screening to the passengers as soon as the ship docks.
Passengers who show symptoms and those in need of medical attention shall be prioritized, while asymptomatic passengers will be sent to military installations for a 14-day quarantine.