Cruise Ship with 3,500 Passengers Stranded Due to Coronavirus Headed to California Port

Grand Princess cruise ship passenger Teresa Duncan Johnson responded with a “Thank God” as the captain announced the coronavirus-plagued vessel would be docking Sunday and passengers would begin their journey home.

She later learned the ship would not dock until Monday.

“You just never know,” she texted in a statement to PEOPLE afterword that things had already changed.

Teresa and her husband John Johnson were celebrating their 27th wedding anniversary and 13th cruise together when they were waylaid by the pandemic off the San Francisco Bay in northern California.

All passengers are confined to their rooms, with food and crafts dropped outside their doors as the ship makes loops within sight of the Golden Gate bridge. The Augusta, Georgia, couple at least has a stateroom with a balcony, and Teresa fought boredom by keeping up on the news and checking Facebook.

“We have a balcony cabin so we at least have this view. I feel for those who do not,” Teresa told PEOPLE, adding they filled their time “watching TV, eating 3 meals a day, reading.”

Craft kits were left by their door by crewmembers wearing masks and gloves – the only people allowed to go outside their rooms. That changed late Saturday night when they learned their floating confinement was coming to an end.

Oakland councilmember Larry Reid told local news outlets that the Grand Princess cruise ship, which is carrying more than 3,500 people from 54 countries, will dock in a vacant area at the Port of Oakland on Sunday. That was later revised to Monday.

According to the captain’s announcement, passengers who require medical treatment and hospitalization will be taken to medical facilities in California.

Other California residents will go to a federally operated facility in the state for testing and isolation. Non-Californians will be transported by the federal government to facilities in other states.

Meanwhile, Crew members will be quarantined and treated aboard the ship. But plans were still being firmed up regarding international passengers.

Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro tweeted that some passengers would be quarantined at Lackland AFB in San Antonio.

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