Update for April 2, 2020: We are pleased to report that all 37 passengers are home.
Update for March 16, 2020: Utah welcomed home four more residents from the Grand Princess cruise ship, after they were released from quarantine in California. That brings the total returned to 27. Remaining passengers: 10
Original post from March 15, 2020:
State agencies and partners were on hand as 23 Utahns arrived back in Utah after an ordeal that started as a cruise and ended with a weeklong quarantine in two states.
The 23 Utahns arrived from Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia on Sunday evening. None are showing symptoms of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and have either tested negative or are awaiting test results.
All 23 passengers were on a specific flight chartered by the federal government with other asymptomatic cruise ship passengers from other states.
Upon arriving in Salt Lake City at the Utah Air National Guard base, they were greeted by medical professionals from the Utah Department of Health, given food, and taken to waiting family members and friends to be taken home.
Though they currently have no symptoms, they will be monitored by state or local public health departments dependent upon their individual situations. They will quarantine for two weeks. They pose no additional risk to the community.
The world watched on March 9 as the Grand Princess cruise ship, with various passengers who eventually tested positive for COVID-19, eventually docking in Oakland. They remained under a federal quarantine order and under the jurisdiction of the federal government.
This was a complex operation, as the federal government was charged with organizing the travel of thousands of cruise ship passengers from around the United States, some of whom had COVID-19 symptoms.
Due to the complexities, passengers were sent to various facilities around the United States.
Among the thousands of passengers on that ship were 37 Utah residents. For the past week, various state agencies have been united in a planning effort to get them back home. Responding and planning agencies include:
- Utah Department of Health
- Utah Division of Emergency Management
- Utah National Guard
- Utah Department of Human Services
- Utah Highway Patrol
- American Red Cross
- Gold Cross Ambulance
- Local health districts
These agencies are committed to receiving the remaining 10 Utahns, currently at various locations in California and Texas, once they are released by our federal partners.