Officials: 4 passengers from cruise ship docked in NJ don’t have coronavirus

1010 WINS Newsroom
February 09, 2020 - 1:26 pm
Anthem of the Seas

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

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BAYONNE, N.J. (1010 WINS) – Four passengers who were tested for the coronavirus after the cruise ship they were on docked in New Jersey Friday don't have the potentially deadly illness, officials said.

The four passengers, Chinese nationals, were tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Newark on Friday.

The New Jersey Health Authority said late Saturday that the test results came back negative, Royal Caribbean announced in a statement.

The Anthem of the Seas was still docked in Bayonne on Sunday. The cruise line company said it had been awaiting the tests before deciding to sail.

The ship is scheduled to depart Cape Liberty at 3 p.m. Monday—more than two days after its original departure date.

Royal Caribbean said anyone who doesn’t show up for the cruise will get a full refund because of the inconvenience.

“If we have to delay further, and you no longer want to sail with us on Sunday, we completely understand, and you may cancel and receive a full refund,” a previous statement from the cruise line read.

The cruise ship had left Cape Liberty on Jan. 27 for an 11-day cruise to the Caribbean. People were reporting symptoms while the ship was on its way to New Jersey from the Bahamas.

More than dozen Chinese nationals were quarantined and screened Friday after reporting symptoms while on the ship, Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement Friday morning.

The sick people were placed in isolation before four were taken to a hospital by ambulance Friday morning for additional screening by the CDC.

On Friday afternoon, Royal Caribbean said in a statement it was banning all guests holding Chinese, Hong Kong or Macau passports from boardings any of the ships in its fleet until further notice.

The cruise company said anyone who has traveled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau less than 15 days prior to sailing will not be allowed on any of its ships, as well. It said it's also banning any guest or crewmember who has been in contact with someone who has traveled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau less than 15 days before sailing.

There have been no confirmed cases in New York or New Jersey yet. Twelve people have contracted it across the U.S., the majority of them in California.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the coronavirus has reached more than 800 in China. That is more than the number of deaths from the SARS virus outbreak in 2003.