VIDEO: Grand Princess awaits results from test kits delivered by helicopter

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Image: California National Guard

As of this morning, Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess remained at sea off San Francisco pending the results of coronavirus tests on samples collected from 45 of the 3,553 people on board the cruise ships.

The tests were conducted after test kits had been delivered to the ship by pararescue jumpers from the California National Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing.

It was hoped that tests results would be available today.

A statement released by Princess Cruises at 10 p.m. PST yesterday said:

In collaboration with the U.S. Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and local authorities, samples were collected today from 45 people on Grand Princess (which includes a mix of guests and team members). The samples were delivered to the California Department of Public Health in Richmond for processing. The results of these tests are expected by tomorrow.

Princess Cruises can confirm there are 3,533 people currently onboard Grand Princess, including 2,422 guests and 1,111 teammates. In total, they represent 54 nationalities.

Following guidelines received today from the CDC, all guests have been asked to stay in their staterooms while test results are pending. Guests are receiving meal deliveries in their staterooms by room service, and additional television and movie options have been added to in-room programming. Guests have also been provided complimentary internet service to stay in contact with their family and loved ones, and the ship’s internet bandwidth has been increased.

Immediate family members of guests onboard Grand Princess may call the appropriate number in their region to speak with Family Assistance representatives: US and Canada: +1 888-358-8055, International: +1 872-201-6779.

UPDATE: In a briefing today, Vice President Mike Pence said that of 46 coronavirus tests conducted on samples taken aboard the Grand Princess, 21 came back positive for COVID-19, 19 of these being crew members and two passengers, another 24 tests were negative and one was inconclusive.

Pence said that the ship would be brought to a “non-commercial port.” He said that all aboard would be tested and “quarantining as necessary.”

He said he anticipated the ship’s 1,100 crew would be quarantined on board and not allowed to disembark.

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