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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Celebrity cruise ship passengers disembark in San Diego, undergo screening

Dr. Eric McDonald, the county's medical director of epidemiology said the health of the ship is excellent but passengers will return home and self-quarantine.

SAN DIEGO — A celebrity cruise ship with over 2,300 passengers arrived in San Diego early Monday morning. The Eclipse is expected to disembark passengers over a two-day period. 

"The health of the ship is excellent right now," Dr. Eric McDonald, the county's medical director of epidemiology said. County health officials are in continuous contact with the ship's crew for any sign of symptoms, he added.

McDonald said 17 cruise passengers are from San Diego County and they will go straight home after disembarking from the ship and will self-quarantine for 14 days. Other passengers are from outside the county and after disembarking they will travel home and self-quarantine.

The Port of San Diego says the Eclipse is the last ship scheduled to disembark.

"The decision to allow a cruise vessel into port and to disembark is made with careful consideration and in coordination and collaboration with the U. S. Coast Guard, the Centers for Disease Control, Customs & Border Protection, the California Office of Emergency Services, San Diego County Health and Human Services, and the Port of San Diego.

The Port prioritizes public health and has put extra precautions in place to help minimize the spread of and exposure to COVID-19. The Port also empathizes with the public on the ships – travelers, including San Diegans and other U.S. Citizens, who haven’t touched land in weeks. We appreciate San Diegans’ patience, compassion and understanding as we work with our cruise partners to get cruise travelers home."

One crewmember and one passenger who were on board the Disney cruise ship “Wonder,” which is currently docked at the B St. Pier, have been confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19, according to San Diego County health officials.

County health officials say the Disney crew member was taken off the ship and transported to a local hospital. Other crewmembers who are currently on board are being closely monitored for any possible symptoms of COVID-19.

"A passenger who disembarked on the prior port visit was later admitted to a San Diego hospital with confirmed COVID-19. This is the only passenger that we are aware of," McDonald said.

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The Port of San Diego issued the following statement about the Eclipse's arrival: 

 "In coordination with the California Office of Emergency Services, San Diego County Health & Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, and the Port of San Diego, the Eclipse is scheduled to arrive around 5 a.m. tomorrow and will dock at B street around 6:15. 2,541 passengers are on board with 2,328 passengers disembarking here over a two-day period. Most will disembark Monday.

The cruise ship terminal has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and additional handwashing stations are available in and around the terminal. Additionally, prior to arrival, all disembarking passengers and crew will complete a CDC COVID-19 survey. During disembarkation, vessel staff will perform temperature monitoring to identify symptomatic passengers and crew. If any issues are identified during the screening process, individuals will be isolated and evaluated by the ship’s medical staff.

Eclipse will leave San Diego on Tuesday around 5 p.m. to go to Acapulco where 213 passengers will disembark on April 4. These passengers do not possess appropriate documents for entry into the U.S. Eclipse will return to San Diego’s outer anchorage on April 7 with no passengers. Crew will remain on board."