In this image from video, provided by the California National Guard, a helicopter carrying airmen with the 129th Rescue Wing flies over the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California Thursday, March 5, 2020. Scrambling to keep the coronavirus at bay, officials ordered a cruise ship with 3,500 people aboard to stay back from the California coast Thursday until passengers and crew can be tested, after a traveler from its previous voyage died of the disease and at least two others became infected. Airmen lowered test kits onto the 951-foot (290-meter) Grand Princess by rope as the vessel lay at anchor off Northern California, and authorities said the results would be available on Friday. Princess Cruise Lines said fewer than 100 people aboard had been identified for testing. (California National Guard via AP)

COVID-19 stricken Grand Princess with 237 Canadians on board cleared to dock in California

At least 57 people in Canada have COVID-19

The captain of a cruise ship hit by the new coronavirus has informed the passengers, which include 237 Canadians, that the vessel is now headed to the port of Oakland, Calif.

In a ship-board address Saturday night, Grand Princess Capt. John Smith said the vessel would likely dock Sunday afternoon and that people needing ”acute medical treatment” would be taken to health-care facilities in California.

Smith said other guests would be taken to federally operated isolation sites or transported out of California, however, he noted that he had been not given any specific information about non-U.S. citizens.

So far, two passengers and 19 crew members, whose nationalities have not yet been disclosed, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The ship, with more than 3,500 people aboard, and has been idling off the coast of San Francisco for the several days now waiting for clearance to dock.

In light of the situation aboard the Grand Princess and other cruise ships recently plagued by COVID-19 outbreaks, Canadian health officials are now advising people to avoid cruise ship travel.

Meanwhile, British Columbia declared an outbreak of the novel coronavirus at a North Vancouver long-term care home on Saturday, saying two elderly residents were recently diagnosed with the virus along with four others in the province.

Chief provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the two cases followed an earlier diagnosis of a care worker at the Lynn Valley Care Centre, making them especially concerning as examples of community transmission.

The care home is now following an outbreak protocol that restricts visitors and imposes “infection control precautions” on all staff interactions at the facility.

At least 57 people in Canada have COVID-19, with 27 confirmed cases in B.C., 28 in Ontario and two in Quebec. There are also two presumptive cases in Alberta that have yet to be confirmed by the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg.

A growing list of events are being cancelled in Canada and around the world in anticipation of fewer people travelling to and from infected areas.

The women’s world hockey championship slated to begin this month in Halifax and Truro, N.S., the 2020 Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse, and the South by Southwest Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, have all been cancelled to prevent the spread of the virus.

And on Saturday Tim Hortons got rid of the cups for its annual “Roll Up the Rim” contest, saying “the current public health environment” means “it’s not the right time for team members…to collect rolled up tabs that have been in people’s mouths.”

— With files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Salmon Arm council makes tough decisions to address economic stress

Among the city’s measures are tax breaks, layoffs and a project delay

COVID-19: Diabetes Canada donation bins becoming garbage dumps amid pandemic

Diabetes Canada has asked residents to stop overflowing bins with donations and garbage

Okanagan College students receive emergency funding

Funding is available to domestic and Indigenous students from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training

Okanagan temperatures to be in the double digits all week

Kelowna’s forecast projects a high of 17 degrees on Thursday

Shuswap residents invited to show white heart in support of health-care workers

Emailed messages will be posted at Shuswap Lake General Hospital

Okanagan College grading system critical despite COVID-19 pandemic

On heels of petition penned by student, VP academic says grading system necessary for accurate assessments

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Spike of visitors to Princeton-area stressing grocery supply chain and healthcare teams

‘We are really not set up to have this many people at this time of year.’ Area H Director Bob Coyne

Summerland to offer mental health webinar

Event will examine ways of coping during COVID-19 pandemic

Okanagan tourism continues to suffer following COVID-19 pandemic

The District of Lake Country voted to suspend tourism on March 31

Van crashes into Kamloops home

Police say the driver went into medical distress before the crash

Most Read