- Passengers on the Grand Princess cruise ship said they only found out 21 people on board tested positive for the coronavirus from Vice President Mike Pence’s press conference on Friday.
- Nineteen of the 21 people who tested positive are crew members, two are passengers.
- The cruise ship began testing people, after a man who was previously on board died from the novel coronavirus that causes the disease named COVID-19.
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Passengers on the Grand Princess cruise ship docked off the coast of San Francisco said they only found out 21 people on the ship tested positive for the new coronavirus after watching Vice President Mike Pence’s address on Friday, CNN reported.
The cruise ship, which has more than 3,500 people on board, began testing people for the novel virus, after a previous passenger, a 71 year old man died from the virus. Pence said on Friday that 46 people were tested; 24 tested negative, one is inconclusive, and 21 tested positive. Nineteen of the 21 who tested positive were crew members. Pence said the ship is expected to dock in a non-commercial port over the weekend and all on board will be tested.
However, those on board said they were left in the dark until they saw the news.
Kailee Higgins Ott, and her mother Leeann told CNN they only found out after someone in their balcony next door told them to turn on the news.
“We’re kind of blindsided here,” Kailee told CNN.
While Kailee said she’s not worried about her own health, she’s worried about the older passengers on the ship. Her mother was worried about what stigma they may face once their able to get back to their normal lives.
No formal plan on what would happen to those on the ship who test negative or positive has been released.
The captain of the Grand Princess was also unaware of the results of the 46 tests that were conducted, according to those onboard. Passenger Debbi Loftus toldCNN that she heard the results on the news and called down to have the information passed along to the captain, who later made an announcement.
According to The Washington Post, the captain told passengers “we were not given advance notice of this announcement by the US federal government.”
Loftus said she and her family were upset and angry that passengers were not informed that 21 people had tested positive before it was announced on the news.
“There’s no excuse for this,” Loftus said.
Last month, another Princess Cruises ship, the Diamond Princess, was quarantined for close to a month off the coast of Yokohama, Japan. By the end of the quarantine more than 700 people on board tested positive for the new coronavirus.
Passengers on that ship also said they were left in the dark at the beginning of the quarantine, and many were initially finding information on what was happening from the news.
President Donald Trump said on Friday that he thought those on the Grand Princess should remain quarantined on board. However, experts said the quarantine of the Diamond Princess was not successful at limiting the spread of the virus.
- Read more:
- 6 people from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have died from the coronavirus
- Passengers on the cruise ship quarantined off Japan over the coronavirus are ‘stir crazy’ in cramped rooms and say they’re being fed stale bread
- Trump said he wants to keep Grand Princess cruise passengers on the ship so that US coronavirus numbers don’t ‘double.’ That strategy failed in Japan.