Officials: 4 family members screened for coronavirus after cruise ship docks in Bayonne
Four family members are being screened for coronavirus at a New Jersey hospital after coming off a cruise ship.
The Anthem of the Seas ship docked at Cape Liberty in Bayonne early Friday morning. It was supposed to depart again Friday afternoon, but Royal Caribbean Cruise lines now says that the ship will take off Saturday instead to "reassure concerned guests.”
News 12 New Jersey has learned that 27 Chinese nationals were on board the ship. They were all screened for the illness which has already claimed hundreds of lives in China. Most of the people screened were cleared and allowed to leave. But four family members were taken by ambulance to University Hospital in Newark for additional, precautionary screenings.
Royal Caribbean says that none of the four people showed any clinical signs or symptoms of coronavirus while on board the ship. But one did test positive for the flu. Cruise officials say that the guests had not been in China for at least 13 days.
Health officials have cleared the Anthem of the Seas ship to depart on its next trip. But cruise officials say that they will wait until results come in from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Royal Caribbean has also announced new protocols for all its ships regarding the coronavirus. Guests and crew members will not be allowed on board if they had been to mainland China or Hong Kong less than 15 days prior to sailing. People with Chinese passports will not be allowed to board a ship at all. There will also be mandatory specialized health screenings for those who are unsure if they've been in contact with anyone who was in mainland China or Hong Kong, or those who are sick with flu-like symptoms.
Additional sanitation procedures and medical staff have also been added for each sailing.
News 12 asked Royal Caribbean if passengers who did not feel comfortable traveling on the ship due to concerns could get a refund, but did not hear back.
The CDC says that there are 337 people in the United States who are no under investigation for coronavirus. Officials say that 12 have tested positive and 225 have tested negative. Test results for about 100 people are still pending nationwide.
There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in New Jersey, according to state health officials.