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Two more COVID deaths announced in San Diego as cases appear on docked cruise ship

The human cost of the novel coronavirus outbreak continued to increase Tuesday with the announcement of two more deaths in San Diego County and the first in Baja California.

As the number of locally confirmed cases hit 734, the county health department announced that it received more than 1,500 test results from local hospitals and private labs on Monday alone.

It was the largest batch received so far during the COVID-19 epidemic, which also saw the total number of people hospitalized increase from 106 to 136 Tuesday. Officials San Diego News have not said how many of those who were hospitalized have been discharged home after treatment. The county provided no additional details on the age, gender or medical conditions of the two newly-announced deaths in San Diego.

News of COVID-19 aboard the Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship, which docked in San Diego Monday, also surfaced Monday.


Dr. Eric McDonald, the county’s epidemiology director, said that one passenger and one crew member on the Eclipse were confirmed to have the disease and were transferred to local hospitals.

“This patient remains hospitalized in serious condition,” McDonald said, referring to the passenger and adding that the condition of the hospitalized crew member was not available.

Two additional crew members on the Eclipse, McDonald added, also had positive COVID tests. Both remain aboard the ship, which discharged 1,200 passengers in San Diego Monday, releasing them to travel to their homes across the country. The remainder of the estimated 2,300 travelers who are to exit the ship in San Diego are expected to leave by midnight Tuesday followed by the Eclipse itself departing for Mexico Wednesday morning.


Many on social media Tuesday said they were appalled that cruise passengers were allowed to make their way to the airport to catch flights to their home cities. The images of many climbing into ride share vehicles together brought cringes of dismay from some who have now been staying in their homes and at least six feet away others for more than two weeks now.

McDonald rejected any notion that everyone should have been held aboard given the four who tested positive. He said that any close contacts have been held in isolation, but the rest passed COVID screening criteria.

“All of these individuals had no symptoms and reported no fever Press Release Distribution Services In San Diego prior to disembarking,” McDonald said.

Some in the public who heard the physician say Monday that no one aboard the Eclipse had tested positive for COVID might be wondering how four cases so suddenly appeared.

McDonald said Tuesday evening that he was aware that some crew had been isolated due to respiratory symptoms but it was true that none had yet tested positive before the ship arrived.

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