FRIDAY, March 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Thousands of passengers stranded on a cruise ship linked to California’s first COVID-19 death anxiously awaited test results Friday, as the total number of U.S. cases passed 220 and the death count climbed to 14.
The U.S. Coast Guard delivered the kits by helicopter Thursday to the Grand Princess, which is anchored off the coast of San Francisco. According to CNN, 45 tests have been ordered. Sixty-two passengers have been quarantined in their cabins because they were on the first leg of the cruise with a California man who died of COVID-19 on Wednesday.
“Cruise ships are posing probably one of the biggest challenges that we are seeing in this outbreak,” Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., infectious diseases director at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, told CNN. “We know these cruise ships are essentially … we’ve been calling them incubators; they are incredibly very healthy environments for the pathogens that we’re talking about.”
Meanwhile, more than 2,500 New Yorkers have been asked to self-quarantine as more cases were reported in the New York City area. New York now has a total of 22 cases, CNN reported. And Maryland on Thursday declared a state of emergency as it reported its first three cases of COVID-19. All three cases were travel-related: a couple in their 70s and a 50-year-old woman.
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