The Grand Princess cruise ship docked in Oakland, California, on Monday, and there was plenty of coverage of the event. The docking was the main story on most major news networks as it happened, and was live-streamed online by various outlets as well. A total of 21 people on the ship reportedly contracted the coronavirus, and experts feared others may have been exposed.
The Grand Princess docked at the industrial Port of Oakland on Monday, with thousands of passengers confined to their cabins. They disembarked slowly, with the priority given to those in need of acute medical treatment. The whole ordeal was livestreamed on The Washington Post YouTube channel.
The livestream went on for nearly five hours, but the disembarking went on well into the night. The captain told reporters that the efforts would continue on Tuesday morning, with more than 2,000 passengers still onboard.
Crew members were held on the ship for quarantine and treatment, according to a report by local news station KRON 4. All others were told they would be held in isolation at a federally operated facility and ultimately tested for the disease, but so far there has been a lot of confusion.
Passengers spoke to USA Today on Tuesday, saying there has been little clarity about what is supposed to happen to them and when they might be free to go. With coronavirus tests in short supply in the U.S., it is unclear when authorities will even be able to test those in quarantine.
"We haven't received any information. We understand that we are going one of two places probably but we have not received anything in writing or anything like that to say where we're going or if we're even leaving today," Donna LaGesse told reporters.
"We're trying to stay calm and we're trying to stay positive but it's getting harder and harder. They can't make up their minds how to keep us safe," added Beryl Ward.0comments
Two passengers have already filed lawsuits against Princess Cruises after disembarking for their possible exposure to a potentially deadly disease and their treatment afterwards. Company spokesperson Negin Kamali issued a statement.
"Princess has been sensitive to the difficulties the COVID-19 outbreak has caused to our guests and crew. Our response throughout this process has focused on well-being our guests and crew within the parameters mandated on us by the government agencies involved and the evolving medical understanding of this new illness," it said. "We (have) not been served with any lawsuit relating to this matter, and we will not comment on any pending litigation."