- The Washington Times - Monday, March 9, 2020

Passengers from a cruise ship with 21 confirmed cases of the coronavirus will be sent to four military bases around the country for a 14 day quarantine period, Pentagon officials confirmed Monday.

About 3,000 passengers are aboard the Grand Princess, with most being confined to their cabins for several days because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The ship sailed into the commercial port at Oakland Monday.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be screening the passengers at the pier.

“Then they’ll be put on transportation. Depending on where they’re going, it could be buses or it could be airplanes,” said Bob Salesees, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Defense Support of Civil Authorities.

The passengers will be taken to Travis Air Force Base near Sacramento, Calif.; Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego; Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio or Dobbins Air Reserve Base outside Atlanta, Ga.

Each passenger on the ship will be in a single room with a single bathroom at one of the military bases.

“The folks are secluded in those rooms. Their meals will be brought to them,” Mr. Salesses said.

Pentagon officials said they are only providing the space. Health and Human Services will be in charge of the operation. They will tend to any medical needs to the passengers.

If one of the cruise ship passengers tests positive or exhibits the signs of coronavirus, they’ll be moved to a hospital for more intensive care, officials said.

The plan is similar to one for Americans who were in the Wuhan area of China when the virus was first detected.

The cruise was intended to be a two-week voyage from San Francisco to Hawaii. It’s return trip was changed when officials learned that a man from California who had recently traveled on the ship died from coronavirus.

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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