Thousands of passengers and crew stuck aboard a cruise ship off the California coast will discover their fate later today, when officials get results from dozens of coronavirus tests.
The California Air National Guard dropped off test kits by helicopter yesterday after learning that the first person to die of the virus in the state previously traveled on the Grand Princess cruise liner.
Medical officials collected samples for testing from 45 people aboard after some showed symptoms, which were flown to a lab in Richmond, the cruise line said.
The ship must remain at sea as it awaits test results, which are expected today, said Mary Ellen Carroll of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management.
There are more than 3,500 people aboard the Grand Princess — 2,422 guests and 1,111 crew members, Princess Cruises said. They represent 54 nationalities.
The Grand Princess had gone on a trip from San Francisco to Mexico last month — the California man who died was on this trip. Then the ship went on a 15-day trip from San Francisco to Hawaii, and was scheduled to return Saturday.