California Gov. Newsom Updates on Coronavirus Treatment as Grand Princess Quarantine Passengers Prepare to Disembark
Newsom says state’s partnership with Trump Administration on virus mitigation has been “everything we could have hoped for”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom held a press conference with federal and state health officials on Sunday afternoon as passengers on the Grand Princess cruise ship prepare to disembark in Oakland for further isolation and treatment after 21 people onboard tested positive for the coronavirus.
Newsom was joined by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, California HHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, state public health director Dr. Sonia Angell, and Office of Emergency Services head Mark Ghilarducci. The conference came ahead of plans to disembark 3,000 passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship at an isolated dock at the Port of Oakland, around 1,000 of whom are California residents. The operation is currently estimated to take place on Monday, but no exact timetable has been established.
Officials say that those who require acute medical treatment will be transported to medical facilities while California residents will be taken to a federal isolation facility outside of Oakland for further quarantine. Out-of-state residents will be taken to other federal facilities while the ship’s crew will continue quarantine on the ship, which will only remain at the dock to remove passengers and then will return to sea.
The site was chosen for its proximity to Oakland’s airport and the nearby Travis Air Force Base, which will allow for quick processing and transportation of passengers. Officials say extra care is being made to make sure the passengers remain out of contact with the general population.
Newsom also told reporters that his office has remained in close contact with the Trump Administration and their coronavirus task force led by Vice President Mike Pence. The governor had a private conversation with the White House on Saturday and said that the administration has followed through with their promises on partnership to deal with the virus while President Trump said “everything we could have hoped for” during their phone call.
“I am not here to make arguments,” he said. “Everything we have asked for we have received. We are very grateful for this partnership.”
114 cases of coronavirus have been officially reported in California with one person deceased, with more expected as capacity for virus testing expands. Newsom has said that California should prepare for further closures of schools, businesses and events as the virus spreads over the coming weeks. While the Los Angeles Marathon went on as scheduled on Sunday, coronavirus has led to the cancellation of multiple business and cultural events nationwide, including SXSW in Austin. Hollywood studios have moved the release dates of several films in countries affected by the virus, including the worldwide push of MGM/Universal’s “No Time to Die” from April to November.
“We are at the beginning of a process, not the end of the process,” Newsom said.
On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gordon said that the coronavirus is “past the point of containment.”
“We have to implement broad mitigation strategies. The next two weeks are really going to change the complexion in this country. We’ll get through this, but it’s going to be a hard period. We’re looking at two months, probably, of difficulty,” he said.
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