Cruise ship kept from docking in South Florida as employees tested for coronavirus

2 unidentified employees will reportedly be tested for the virus before any decision is made
Posted at 2:40 PM, Mar 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-08 14:40:45-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (WTXL) - — Another cruise ship is at the center of a coronavirus scare. This time off the coast of South Florida.

According to a report from ABC-affiliate station WPLG-TV, the Regal Princess was scheduled to dock at Port Everglades earlier Saturday morning but the cruise ship was ordered to stay offshore amid fear of the ship's crew members being possibly exposed to coronavirus.

Passengers aboard the Regal Princess were told that the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "requested information on two crew members who previously served on the Grand Princess, which has had several confirmed cases of coronavirus on board," WPLG-TV reports.

More than 3,500 passengers and crews remained aboard the Grand Princess, which is staying offshore near California. On Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence announced 21 people aboard the Grand Princess tested positive for coronavirus, including 19 crew members.

WPLG-TV reports the cruise line is offering to reimburse passengers for any "unexpected expenses," including change fees, increased flight costs from airlines within the same class of service and transportation expenses.

So far in Florida, two residents have died from complications of coronavirus. On Saturday, DOH announced five people have tested "presumptive positive" for coronavirus in the Sunshine State.

The new cases from Saturday's announcement came from Manatee, Lee, Okaloosa, Volusia and Charlotte counties. The new Manatee County patient was identified as an 81-year-old woman with a history of travel overseas, DOH said.

Story is still developing. Stay with ABC-27 for the latest details.