Most Wisconsin passengers on Grand Princess cruise ship return home

Last updated on March 16th, 2020 at 02:13 pm

Twenty-nine Wisconsin residents who were passengers aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship that docked at the Port of Oakland in California last week were transported back to Wisconsin early this morning, Gov. Tony Evers announced today. That ended a weeks-long ordeal due to confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus aboard the ship.

More than 3,500 people were on board the Grand Princess which had 21 total cases of COVID-19.

As of today, none of the returning Wisconsin citizens have tested positive for COVID-19 and all are asymptomatic, but the residents will follow Center for Disease Control and Wisconsin Department of Health Services protocols and continue to self-quarantine for the requisite 14-day period, Evers said.

“We’re glad to finally have our folks back home in Wisconsin,” Evers said. “These individuals have gone through a harrowing experience full of uncertainty and fear over the past several weeks. But as I’ve said repeatedly, here in Wisconsin, we take care of one another. I am incredibly grateful to Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services, the Wisconsin National Guard, and our entire state government for the hard work they’ve put in to ensure we bring our people home safely and ensure the safety of our communities.”

When the cruise ship passengers from Wisconsin arrive back in the state, soldiers and airmen from the Wisconsin National Guard transported them back to their homes for self-quarantine. The National Guard troops were given hotel rooms at their final destinations. The soldiers and airmen involved will self-monitor for 14 days upon the conclusion of their mission.

Two passengers from Wisconsin chose to remain in quarantine in Texas under the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS), citing personal reasons. State officials continue to work with HHS to return home seven Wisconsin passengers who remain in HHS custody in California, Evers said.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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