CDC forces Regal Princess to remain offshore near South Florida until 2 crew members are tested for coronavirus

Crew members previously served on Grand Princess

CDC forces Regal Princess to remain offshore near South Florida until 2 crew members are tested for coronavirus (Photo: Regal Princess Company Website)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Another Princess cruise ship is under the coronavirus microscope, and this one is located off the coast of South Florida.

The Regal Princess was supposed to dock at Port Everglades early Sunday morning, but those plans have been put on hold due to a couple of crew members that may have been exposed to coronavirus.

According to a letter obtained by Local 10 News, passengers aboard the Regal Princess were informed 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.

As of Sunday morning, over 3,500 passengers and crew remained aboard the Grand Princess, which is floating off the coast of California. That’s because 21 people, 19 of which are crew members, tested positive for coronavirus.

The letter given to Regal Princess passengers states that those crew members “are past the understood maximum incubation of COVID-19 and are asymptomatic.” It also states they “received a precautionary screening by the Medical Staff upon boarding Regal Princess to test for respiratory symptoms, including fever.”

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After receiving information about the crew members from the cruise line, the CDC made the decision to keep all passengers and crew on board, offshore, until the two employees can be tested for coronavirus.

Due to that decision, the Regal Princess' planned disembarkation, which was scheduled to take place Sunday morning, would more than likely be delayed.

The cruise line is offering to reimburse passengers for any "unexpected expenses" which includes fight "change fees, increased flight costs (within the same class of service), and transportation expenses" as well as up to $300 for a night's hotel stay in the Fort Lauderdale area.

The letter given to passengers can be seen below.

A letter sent to passengers aboard the Regal Princess regarding two crew members, who previously served on the Grand Princess, who the CDC required be tested for COVID-19 before anyone be allowed to disembark the ship. (WPLG)

There have been two presumptive cases of coronavirus in Broward County. The patents are 65 and 75 years old. Both are cruise-related and both are under quarantine.

Overall, there have been two deaths in Florida due to coronavirus, one in Lee County and the other in Santa Rosa County.

Sunday morning, Manatee, Okaloosa, Volusia, Charlotte and Lee Counties are reporting new presumptive cases of COVID-19.

About the Authors:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.