Two passengers who had been on Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess, the second Princess Cruises ship with cases of coronavirus, have died.
The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the deaths, indicating both passengers died due to complications from the coronavirus.
A statement from HHS to USA TODAY said both passengers were on board the Grand Princess.
Immediately after developing COVID-19 symptoms, one passenger was transported directly from the ship to the hospital, according to HHS. The other was quarantined at Travis Air Force Base in California and then developed symptoms and was transferred to the hospital.
One person died March 21, and the other died on March 23. Both passengers were in their early 60s.
“Princess Cruises was notified that two guests who sailed onboard Grand Princess have passed away,” read a statement from the cruise line sent by spokesperson Alivia Owyoung Ender. “Our hearts go out to the families, friends and all who are impacted by these losses. All of us at Princess Cruises offer our sincere condolences.”
USA TODAY has reached out to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More than 3,500 people on board the Grand Princess for a Hawaii voyage were potentially exposed to COVID-19, a revelation that came to light after a 71-year-old man died from coronavirus after sailing on the ship’s previous voyage. More than 60 passengers from that trip stayed aboard for the second voyage.
The ship docked in Oakland, California, on March 9 after reporting 21 coronavirus cases. Before it docked, the Grand Princess was kept at sea for several days before being allowed back into port.
Of the 1,103 passengers from the Grand Princess that elected to be tested, 103 tested positive, 699 tested negative. The remaining results are pending, HHS said.
Over the course of several days, passengers were let off the ship in groups. Then, passengers were spread between four military bases in California, Texas and Georgia to complete a two-week quarantine.
Grand Princess passengers began leaving their quarantine at Travis Air Force Base, east of the San Francisco Bay Area, Monday.
Passengers were expected to be released from quarantine over the next four days.
The Diamond Princess, another Princess Cruises ship, was quarantined off the coast of Japan in February with a coronavirus outbreak that ultimately would infect more than 700 passengers and crew. Ten people who were on the ship have since died from the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins data.
Diamond Princess, Grand Princess:Cruise line had high rates of illness even before coronavirus
Contributing: David Oliver, Chris Woodyard