Coronavirus: 34 Georgians, passengers on cruise ship headed to base in Cobb County

Passengers of a cruise ship off the California coast hit by the coronavirus are headed to an Air Force base in Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement Sunday.

“I have learned that thirty-four Georgians and additional American citizens from the eastern United States who are currently on the Grand Princess cruise ship off the California coast will be securely transferred to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia," Kemp said in his statement. "These passengers will undergo testing and be quarantined for possible exposure to COVID-19. They are expected to arrive at Dobbins late Monday, March 9 or early Tuesday, March 10.

"I am confident that Dobbins is equipped to provide high-quality care for Americans in need while keeping Georgia families safe, and our state stands ready to assist our federal partners if requested. In the days and weeks ahead, I encourage Georgians to pray for the patients affected by COVID-19 and their healthcare providers. We must continue to support one another, trust the advice of the medical community, and remain vigilant.

"My office remains in constant communication with the Trump Administration, lawmakers, and state and local officials to ensure the health and safety of families across Georgia and our country. We will continue to provide updates as soon as they become available."

Princess Cruises' Grand Princess ship will berth in Oakland, California, on Monday, "to begin disembarking guests who require acute medical treatment and hospitalization." The process originally had been slated to begin Sunday, with other guests disembarking Monday.

The ship is carrying more than 3,500 people from 54 countries.

A total of 21 people on the ship have the novel coronavirus.

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