Cruise passengers in New Jersey screened for coronavirus, 4 taken to hospitals
More than two dozen Chinese nationals aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise that docked in New Jersey on Friday morning were screened for coronavirus, and four were taken to a nearby hospital, according to officials.
Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas cruise through the Caribbean left Bayonne on Jan. 27, according to the itinerary.
One passenger who had a fever on the cruise was given Tylenol and the fever went away, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis said.
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That person and three others, who were under close observation for their health on the ship, were taken to University Hospital in Newark, which has isolation rooms.
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At least two of the four were taken off the ship on stretchers.
Twenty-three other Chinese nationals were screened after getting off the cruise. They showed no symptoms and were headed to Newark Liberty International Airport for flights back to China Friday.
Davis said he was told that none of the 27 people are from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, or have traveled there recently.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and the state health commissioner told Davis that the screenings and isolation in hospitals are being done out of an abundance of caution.
Murphy said in a statement that the 27 passengers on the ship were screened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As to the four taken to a hospital for close observation, the governor said the medical center “is following proper infection control protocols while evaluating these individuals.”
Murphy added, “New Jersey currently has no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus and the risk to residents remains low.”
“I have been briefed on the RC cruise ship arriving this morning. I am certain that the NJ DoH, CDC, and PA NY/NJ are prepared and equipped to address any concerns this morning,” Davis wrote in a tweet.
A statement from Royal Caribbean said the company is “closely monitoring developments regarding coronavirus and have rigorous medical protocols in place onboard our ships,” adding that it is participating in “elevated levels of guest screening to check the spread of coronavirus.”
On Wednesday, the 12th confirmed case of coronavirus in the U.S. was confirmed in Wisconsin. More than 600 people have died from the virus worldwide. The majority of those deaths have been in mainland China.
Brian Thompson contributed.