In an update posted at 10.00 p.m. Saturday, Princess Cruises said it had received word from state and local response operations that Grand Princess will proceed to the Port of Oakland on Monday to begin disembarking guests who require acute medical treatment and hospitalization.
Exact timing is still being determined in a coordinated manner with all operations resources. These guests will be transported to medical facilities in California.
Disembarkation will continue Monday for other guests. According to Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, following health screenings, guests who are California residents will go to a federally operated facility within California for testing and isolation, while non-Californians will be transported by the federal government to facilities in other states. Crew will be quarantined and treated aboard the ship.
In a statement released Sunday, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) said. “the entire mission is centered around protecting the health of the passengers, and ensuring that when the passengers disembark, the public health of the United States, the State of California, and partner communities is protected.”
The mission will be a joint federal and state effort, with local support, says OES. The federal government and its contractors are already preparing the site for disembarkment. As soon as Monday the ship will begin disembarking passengers at the Port of Oakland. The ship will only be docked during the duration of the disembarkment.
“These passengers will not be released into the general public. Passengers who require acute medical treatment and hospitalization will be transported to health care facilities in California,” said OES. “If passengers do not require acute medical care following health screenings, those who are California residents will go to a federally run isolation facility within California for testing and isolation, while non-Californians will be transported by the federal government to facilities in other states. The crew will be quarantined and treated aboard the ship, but importantly, the ship will only stay in Port of Oakland for the duration of disembarkment. This ship will depart Oakland as soon as possible and will remain elsewhere for the duration of the crew’s quarantine.”
“Almost 1,000 of the ship’s passengers are Californians,” noted OES. “They have been through a great deal of stress and were potentially exposed to this virus through no fault of their own.”
The Port of Oakland was selected as the best site for the ship to disembark after careful consideration, said OES, noting that there are limited docks able to dock a ship the size of the Grand Princess, and that the Port of Oakland location was the easiest to seal off, securely move passengers toward their isolation destinations and protect the safety of the public.
“The City of Oakland, Alameda County and the Port of Oakland are stepping up in a major way, and their residents deserve universal praise. They are showing the world what makes our state great – coming to the rescue of thousands of people trapped aboard this ship and helping tackle a national emergency,” said Governor Gavin Newsom.