CHICAGO (CBS) — At least 21 people tested positive for coronavirus on the Grand Princess cruise ship that docked at the Port of Oakland in California on Monday – the ship that has had passengers in quarantine in their rooms since Thursday of last week.
CBS 2’s Tara Molina caught up with a Chicago native on that ship, who has another quarantine ahead of him.
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Joe Parisi and his wife – now of Colorado – were still on the ship Monday night. Once they’re off, they are told they will be transported to a federal facility for a full 14-day quarantine.
“It was a great trip to Hawaii,” Parisi said.
But the fast few days have not been that great at all.
“It’s been tough,” he said. “Sure, we get a little stir crazy.”
Already having been stuck on the 10th floor of the cruise ship in a 10-by-13 room without windows since Thursday, Parisi and his wife have another quarantine ahead of them – while they wait to get off the ship docked outside of Oakland.
“Are we worried about getting sick? Of course,” Parisi said. “We hope we don’t get the virus.”
At least 21 on board with them have it.
The U.S. Department of State now issuing a warning to everyone in the United States, “particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship.”
“I’m concerned the company may have known there were sick people on the ship,” Parisi said.
That is a concern he shares with others on the ship. Ronald and Eva Weissberger of Florida have filed a lawsuit against Princess Cruise Lines seeking damage in excess of $1 million.
The Weissbergers claim the company put passengers in danger – Allowing thousands to get on the ship for their trip to Hawaii knowing at least two people the trip beforehand contracted the virus – and one of them died.
As for what’s next? For the Parisis and everyone else on board the ship, it’s federal quarantine. Parisi does not have details yet.
“We’re going to military bases in Texas or Georgia,” he said.
And while they feel healthy, the 14 days – wherever they may be – are an inconvenience that’s worth it.
“We want to be sure the public is safe too,” he said. We don’t want to infect anybody. That’s the last thing we want to do.”
A special education classroom assistant at Vaughn Occupational High School in Chicago also traveled on the Grand Princess, and has since tested positive for coronavirus. She was off the ship before any infection had been discovered onboard.
Molina asked the cruise line about the lawsuit and travelers’ concerns that the company didn’t change plans when previous passengers got sick. When we hear back from them, we will update this story.