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Passengers aboard the Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship claim they have received notice to self-quarantine for 14 days after three crew members and one passenger aboard the most recent sailing tested positive for coronavirus shortly after docking in San Diego on Monday.
County health officials confirmed the cases on Monday. The sick passenger, who is not a resident of San Diego County, is currently hospitalized “in serious condition,” according to a news release shared by the county’s communications office.
Dr. Eric McDonald, the county's medical director of epidemiology, said one of the crew members had also been transferred to a hospital, but did not have further information on that patient’s condition, CBS 8 reports. Celebrity Cruises, which is owned by Royal Caribbean, did not confirm further details of the crew members’ conditions in a statement shared with Fox News.
On Monday, the Celebrity Eclipse arrived in San Diego following what was supposed to be a two-week cruise that departed on March 1 from Argentina, according to a Buzzfeed News report from mid-March. The ship had previously attempted to dock in Chile after Royal Caribbean announced the suspension of all cruises on March 13, but were denied an initial attempt in San Antonio, and sailed on to Valparaiso, where Chilean nationals were allowed to disembark. The ship then continued on to San Diego, where it was granted clearance to disembark.
“We received clearance from port authorities and public health officials to disembark our guests and return them safely to their homes,” Royal Caribbean wrote in a statement shared with Fox News. “No guests or crewmembers reported with symptoms throughout the sailing, and guests are going through exit health screenings when they leave the ship. We remain in continuous contact with public health authorities and appreciate their guidance to protect the well-being of our guests and crew.”
Some passengers claim they have since received an email from Celebrity Cruises informing them of the positive coronavirus cases on their voyage. In a copy shared with CBS 8, passengers were instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days, take their temperature twice daily, avoid public transportation, and practice social distancing. Those experiencing symptoms were told to stay home, and seek medical care if severe.
On Tuesday, San Diego County said that all remaining passengers on the Celebrity Eclipse would be disembarking by midnight that evening, although it was unclear if any passengers still remained onboard as of Wednesday.
“They are screened prior to departure and only those who are asymptomatic and without fever are allowed to leave and proceed to transportation out of the county. This is following current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on disembarkation from cruise ships,” reads a news release posted to the county’s News Center on Tuesday.
A representative for Celebrity Cruises would only say “the work continues” in response to a query about any current passengers on the ship.