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Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Ship will be last allowed to disembark passengers

 

Last updated 3/31/2020 at 10:01am



SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Passengers aboard the Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship docked in San Diego will continue disembarking today, but it will be the last cruise ship allowed to release passengers in San Diego County until further

notice.

County health officials announced Monday that cruise ships will no longer be allowed to disembark passengers or crew members starting April 1, but ships may be allowed to dock to fuel up or restock on provisions with permission from the county's health officers.

A majority of the 2,500 Celebrity Eclipse passengers had disembarked as of Monday night, CBS8 reported. The ship will remain in San Diego until tonight, then it will head to Mexico to disembark the remaining 213 passengers.

All passengers are required to undergo a medical screening before being allowed off, health officials said.

No one on board had shown symptoms of the virus as of Monday night, but passengers were asked to self quarantine for 14 days once they get home.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the county has increased by 84 to 603, but the number of deaths remained at seven.

The figures released Monday were skewed by the inability to send test results to the county government on weekends, according to Dr. Eric McDonald, San Diego County's epidemiology director.

There are 118 San Diego County residents hospitalized because of the coronavirus, including 51 in intensive care, according to figures released by the county.

The diagnoses announced Monday included a second San Diego Police Department officer, Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. Four San Diego lifeguards and one San Diego Fire-Rescue Department firefighter have also been diagnosed with the coronavirus, according to Faulconer.

San Diego State University announced Monday that a third student has tested positive for COVID-19.

The latest case at the university involves a student who began feeling ill sometime after moving out of on-campus housing, according to the university.

It was not immediately clear when the student moved off campus, although all but 200 students had left the dorms as of March 23, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

A student who studied in Italy and a student who studied in Spain previously contracted the virus.

Two employees of a Sprouts Farmers Market in northern Carlsbad have also tested positive for COVID-19, the company reported Monday.

Both employees work at the grocery store off El Camino Real south of state Route 78 in the Carlsbad Plaza South Shopping Center.

One employee last worked in the store March 17, and the other last worked on March 15, according to the company.

San Diego County health officials reported Sunday that five food handlers had tested positive for COVID-19 -- four restaurant employees and a grocery store employee.

The grocery store employee who tested positive is from an Albertson's store in Escondido, San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Sunday, adding that the store did the right thing by closing, alerting county environmental health officials, following sanitation protocols, then re-opening to customers.

"If you have a sick worker, they must stay home,'' Fletcher said, urging employers to call 858-505-6814 to report any sick workers.

Co-workers of the Albertson's employee who display any symptoms of the coronavirus infection will be sent home, but there are no tests pending in this case, McDonald said.

Health officials also stressed that there is no evidence of COVID-19 association with food. They cited the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

The county is increasing inspections of the many food facilities in the region, Fletcher said.

The largest group of cases reported Monday was the 148 among people ranging in age from 30-39, while the second-largest was the 121 among people ages 20 to 29.

People between the ages of 20 and 49 make up 62% of the county's cases. Four positive results have been found in children under the age of 9, including two infants. Twenty-nine residents over 80 years old have tested

positive.

Of the 603 cases, 256 were female and 345 were male, with two patients listed as "unknown'' in the data.

County health officials have seen the results for 8,129 tests, Fletcher said, but likely more had been performed before the county required the results of all tests to be reported.

Dr. Nick Yphantides, San Diego County's chief medical officer, reported that four "congregate living sites'' -- which can be assisted living facilities, prisons or anywhere where large groups of people congregate in one living location -- have tested positive for 33 cases and include two of the county's deaths from the illness.

Those sites were under strict health protocols and under further investigation, he said.

The risk of contracting the coronavirus disease can increase from vaping and smoking, McDonald said.

"Any lung disease or condition would put you at risk,'' McDonald said. "We don't have specific cases so far, but our strong recommendation is to use this opportunity to quit.''

Despite concerns over hospital space, residents with cardio-vascular troubles or stroke symptoms should immediately seek emergency medical attention, Yphantides said.

"Don't be reluctant to seek care if you need it,'' he said.

The county will issue a new public health order extending indefinitely all closure orders that were set to expire today, Fletcher said.

The closure order applies to schools, nonessential businesses, restaurants, gyms and fitness centers, he said, and anyone 65 or older should continue to quarantine themselves at home.

Parks in Vista closed Monday in an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus by encouraging social distancing. The North County city announced the decision on Sunday and had 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday.

The closures include all parks, trails, public restrooms, the South Buena Vista off-leash dog area, athletic fields, basketball courts, pickleball courts, playgrounds, skate parks and tennis courts.

Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Solana Beach, Imperial Beach and the Port of San Diego closed all beaches, trails and parks in their respective cities early last week.

Also Monday:

-- To help parents navigate through any questions they may have about COVID-19, Rady Children's Hospital started a pediatric nurse advice line. The line is staffed seven days a week by nurses with pediatric training. The nurses are available to answer questions from the community about anything related to coronavirus and kids. Parents can call 858-966-8399 between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.

More information about the call line and COVID-19 is available at http://www.rchsd.org.

-- The unincorporated east county community of Borrego Springs launched a coronavirus education site,

http://www.accesshealthborrego.org/coronavirus/.

-- Ralphs stores in San Diego County expanded service hours Monday. Its stores will be open from 6 a.m.-7:30 a.m. for shoppers age 60 and above, and 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. for the general public.

 

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