SAN DIEGO — As the coronavirus pandemic continues, cruise ship lines have suspended operations. However, some are still out on the water, waiting to port in San Diego. That includes one that's scheduled to arrive later this week, which is raising serious health concerns.
For example, Disney's Wonder cruise ship arrived in San Diego last week. While the crew remains on board as of Tuesday, passengers were allowed off.
A LOOK BACK TO LAST WEEK: Disney cruise docks in San Diego a day early
News 8 was at the Port of San Diego Thursday as hundreds of people got off Disney's Wonder cruise ship. Passengers told News 8 they were all screened before leaving, noting the strict safety protocols in place while on board.
One woman said, “Being on the ship has been wonderful. I haven’t been concerned. They have upped the cleanliness even more than they already had.”
Cruise ship lines have suspended operations until at least mid-April. However, the call was made while ships were still out on voyages, so you'll notice some returning to San Diego between now and the end of the month.
While most have no passengers, two do, including the Holland America Maasdam, which is scheduled to arrive on Thursday with 834 people on board.
According to Port officials, there are no reports of illnesses. However, the ship must abide by these rules:
-Immediately inform Port, San Diego County Health & Human Services, the CDC, the Coast Guard, and Customs and Border Protection if any passengers or crew members begin to display symptoms of any illness, including COVID-19.
-Report how many crew members will disembark due to their contracts ending.
-Keep crew members on board who are still under contract.
Ships arriving later this month, including the Celebrity Eclipse, must follow the same rules. The CDC also recommended passengers self-quarantine for 14 days once they're back home.
The concerns and extra protocols are warranted. The Grand Princess lingered in the San Francisco Bay for two weeks after several people on board tested positive for COVID-19. Some of its passengers flew to San Diego to quarantine at MCAS Miramar. Between that ship and the Diamond Princess, there were more than 800 COVID-19 cases, resulting in 10 deaths.
RELATED: More cruise ship passengers arrive at MCAS Miramar for coronavirus quarantine
The CDC even found traces of the virus still living inside cabins more than two weeks after passengers disembarked.
RELATED: Coronavirus lived on surfaces in cruise ship cabins for up to 17 days, CDC data shows
Aside from the new rules in place, local Port officials are also sanitizing the port, and have added hand-washing stations.
The Regent Seven Seas Splendor is currently docked at the National City Marine Terminal.
Not all ships have passengers on them. Some are docking for fuels and supplies and then staying until they're allowed to set sail again.