SANTA BARBARA, CA - FEBRAUARY 15: The Ruby Prince
The Ruby Princess, a Grand-class cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises, drops anchor in the Santa Barbara Channel on February 15, 2019, in Santa Barbara, California. Thousands of tourists are now making their way to The American Riviera each year via cruise ships. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
  • Video taken by the California National Guard shows officials dropping out of a helicopter to deliver coronavirus testing kits to the Grand Princess cruise ship, which is currently docked off the coast of San Francisco.
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a number of coronavirus cases associated with the ship's previous voyage, and some passengers currently on the ship have started to show symptoms.
  • Officials have ordered the cruise ship to stay away from the California coast until passengers and crew can be tested for the coronavirus.
  • The US has reported at least 447 coronavirus cases.
  • For the latest case total, death toll, and travel information, see Coronavirus in South Africa.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

The California National Guard dropped coronavirus test kits onto the Grand Princess cruise ship, which is currently sitting off the coast of San Francisco, amid concerns of a coronavirus outbreak on board.

The Grand Princess cruise ship arrived off the coast of San Francisco on Thursday. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a number of coronavirus cases associated with the ship's previous voyage, and the first patient to die of the new coronavirus in California had traveled aboard the Grand Princess last month.

Some passengers currently on the ship have started to show symptoms, according to California Governor Gavin Newsom and Princess Cruises. The ship ended up returning to San Francisco early instead of docking in Ensenada, Mexico, as a precaution.

According to Princess Cruises, there are no confirmed cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, on board. The company said there are fewer than 100 guests and crew identified for testing, including guests who have exhibited flu-like symptoms or who are under care for respiratory illness. They have been asked not to leave their cabins.

Video taken by the California National Guard 129th Rescue Wing on Thursday showed officials dropping out of a helicopter to deliver packages of testing kits to the top deck of the cruise ship.

Officials have ordered the cruise ship to stay away from the California coast until passengers and crew can be tested for the coronavirus.

According to Princess Cruises, the onboard medical team will administer the tests, which will then be sent in batches by helicopter to a lab in Richmond, California, as the cruise stays docked away from shore. No guests will be allowed to disembark until the test results are received.

The ship is from the same cruise line as the Diamond Princess, which was quarantined for two weeks in the port of Yokohama, Japan, and reported over 700 cases of coronavirus from its passengers. The US has reported at least 232 coronavirus cases in total across 19 states, including 61 in California.

19 in the US have died. 

California declared a state of emergency on Wednesday after it reported its first death from coronavirus in the state in Placer County, located near Sacramento.

Morgan McFall-Johnson contributed reporting.

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