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4 remaining Grand Princess cruise ship passengers return to Wisconsin, Gov. Evers says

Medical personnel help load passengers onto buses as they are disembarked from the Grand Princess cruise ship at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, California on March 10, 2020. - The first passengers were taken ashore from a coronavirus-hit cruise ship that docked at California's port of Oakland on March 9, 2020, with the infected "being dealt with in proper isolation," said US Vice President Mike Pence. The Grand Princess arrived in the San Francisco Bay after days stranded at sea with 21 confirmed coronavirus infections among more than 3,500 passengers and crew. (Photo by Josh Edelson / AFP) (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced Saturday, March 21 that late Friday night four Wisconsin citizens who were aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship that docked in the Port of Oakland, California last week arrived in Wisconsin. Wisconsin National Guard personnel were waiting to transport them back to their homes for self-quarantine.

The cruise ship had confirmed cases of COVID-19 on board, so each passenger will follow Center for Disease Control and Wisconsin Department of Health Services protocols and continue to self-quarantine for the requisite 14-day period after landing at the National Guard’s Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center in Camp Douglas, Wisconsin.

There were originally 38 Wisconsin citizens aboard the ship, all of whom are asymptomatic and have not tested positive for COVID-19.

A first group of 29 returned to Wisconsin late March 15 after a weeks-long ordeal aboard the ship, which had more than 3,500 on board and 21 total cases of COVID-19. Two of the original 38 Wisconsin passengers chose to remain in quarantine in Texas under the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS), citing personal reasons. The remaining three passengers remain in California and will return back to Wisconsin at a later date. Two of the passengers remain in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS), custody in California, and one passenger chose to remain in California citing personal reasons.

There are no more pending transports of Grand Princess cruise ship passengers for the Wisconsin National Guard.

The four residents that returned today received a welcome-home packet, which included a letter from the governor, information about their 14 days of quarantine, and how to contact their local health department or Wisconsin DHS if they had questions.

Nearly 30 Soldiers and Airmen from the Wisconsin National Guard mobilized to state active duty after Gov. Tony Evers declared a public health emergency last Thursday, and they were standing by to transport the residents home after they landed at Volk Field. From there, Guard members transported them home in state vans. The same troops were on hand today to transport the seven returning citizens home. The Soldiers and Airmen involved will self-monitor for 14 days upon the conclusion of their mission.

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