As the U.S. reels with questions on how to deal with the spread of COVID-19, Monterey County extends itself in service

Day 2 Update:

OAKLAND – The United States Department of Health and Human Services and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services provided the following update on the second day of progress towards the safe return of individuals from the Grand Princess Cruise ship. The second day of disembarkation saw a substantial increase in the pace at which individuals were able to safely and methodically disembark from the vessel. The following reflects the count as of 8:30 p.m. PDT on March 10: 1045 total individuals were disembarked from the ship on March 10, 2020:

  • 613 individuals were transported by bus to Travis Air Force Base near Fairfield, California
  • 42 individuals were transported via chartered flight to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego, California
  • 124 individuals were transported via charted flight to Dobbins Air Reserve base near Marietta, Georgia
  • 98 individuals were transported via chartered flight to Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas.
  • 168 individuals were repatriated via chartered flight to the United Kingdom

Today’s announcement builds upon previous efforts to disembark 407 individuals from the ship on March 9. In total, 1452 individuals have been safely brought ashore during the first two days of this operation. The movement of passengers from the ship will resume Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. PDT . For more information on the health and safety measures being taken to protect first responders, the public and the surrounding community, please see Monday’s announcement.

Following the completion of the mission, the Grand Princess Cruise Ship will be moved from the Port of Oakland and temporarily anchored while the vessel’s crew are isolated and treated. Upon the ship’s departure, the Port of Oakland site will be fully remediated and decontaminated by immediately removing temporary structures and pressure washing the entire site with a bleach solution to disinfect it.

Original release:

As passengers disembark from the Grand Princess cruise ship in Oakland, the state and federal government are working quickly to ensure that Americans are housed in safe and secure sites during their mandatory 14-day quarantines.

In continuing support of these Americans, up to 24 individuals who disembarked the cruise ship are being relocated to a cluster of buildings on the Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove. The individuals will be temporarily housed in buildings that are removed from visitors and the public, and will not interact with other Asilomar guests, employees or the general public.

All the individuals have been screened by medical professionals, and because they have mild symptoms that do not require hospitalization, they cannot be quarantined at Travis Air Force Base. While none of these individuals is known to have contracted novel coronavirus (COVID-19), they will be tested and monitored by medical professionals while at Asilomar.

This housing effort is focused on protecting the health of these Americans and the public health of California’s communities and military readiness at Travis Air Force Base. The California Health and Human Services Agency and California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services are partnering with federal and local governments to ensure that adequate protocols are in place to protect the health of the disembarked passengers and the public health of California and the communities surrounding Asilomar. The state is also working closely with local agencies, including Monterey County and the City of Pacific Grove, to coordinate this mission and provide communication and information to the public.

“These residents have endured a lot of stress in the last few days, and our top priority is to protect their health – and the public health of California – until they can return to their homes,” said California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “We understand people across California are concerned about novel coronavirus, and that’s why we’re collaborating with our federal partners to ensure that the community surrounding Asilomar is not impacted.”

“State Parks is ready to step up and support these Americans who need our assistance, and we continue to make the health and safety of visitors, employees and the public our top priority,” said State Parks Director Lisa Mangat.

“We are grateful to the community of Pacific Grove and Monterey County for stepping up to care for our fellow Americans in their time of need,” said Mark, Ghilarducci, Director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. “This community embodies the leadership we have seen in other parts of the state, including Solano County and Oakland.”

“The nation and indeed the rest of the world is watching how our community reacts to this situation,” said Monterey County District 5 Supervisor Mary Adams. “We have an opportunity to provide an example of a compassionate humanitarian response.” 

“We are working with federal and state officials to make sure every step is taken to protect the health of our community,” said Dr. Edward Moreno, Monterey County Health Officer.

“Public health and safety is the responsibility of every level of government. Pacific Grove is working closely with our state and federal partners to ensure the highest level of safety is provided for our community,” said Amy Tomlinson, Pacific Grove City Councilmember.

Representatives release joint statement regarding housing of Princess Cruise Ship passengers in Monterey County

Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley), Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), Assemblymember Mark Stone (D – Monterey Bay), and Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) today issued the following statement regarding the housing of Princess Cruise Ship passengers in Monterey County.

“Our number one priority is the health and safety of the residents in Monterey County.  We are working with our federal, state and local partners to implement any precautionary measures to protect the workers and surrounding community from the spread of COVID-19.  While we understand and empathize with the concerns regarding the virus, we want to assure you that public health physicians are working around the clock to ensure our community is fully protected.   Additionally, we want to thank our local public health and community leaders for their partnership in the coordinated California public health response.”

Yesterday, the United States Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Princess Cruise Ship docked in Oakland, CA, will transport passengers to secured rooms in Monterey County, as well as to other locations throughout California, adhering to strict safety protocols. These individuals will not have access to the outside community until their quarantine is complete. For the most current information on coronavirus, please visit: