MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Twenty-nine Wisconsin residents who were quarantined on a cruise ship in California because of the new coronavirus were escorted to their homes early Monday by members of the Wisconsin National Guard, Gov. Tony Evers said.
The Grand Princess cruise ship carrying thousands of passengers docked at the port of Oakland on March 9 after being held out at sea for days. People have been disembarking the ship in waves. Evers said the Wisconsin residents were returned to their homes in the pre-dawn hours.
None of the passengers from Wisconsin have tested positive for the coronavirus but they will all self-quarantine for the required 14-day period, Evers’ office said. There were more than 3,500 people on the cruise ship and 21 have tested positive for COVID-19.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.
Two Wisconsin residents remained in quarantine in Texas under the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, citing personal reasons, Evers said in a statement. Seven other passengers on the ship who are Wisconsin residents remain in HHS custody in California, Evers said.
“We’re glad to finally have our folks back home in Wisconsin,” Evers said. “These individuals have gone through a harrowing experience full of uncertainty and fear over the past several weeks.”
The Wisconsin residents landed at the National Guard’s Volk Field in Camp Douglas, Wisconsin. Everyone who returned received a welcome-home packet, which included a letter from Evers, information about their quarantine and how to contact health officials with questions.
The 30 members of the National Guard who transported the people home will self-monitor for 14 days, the governor’s office said.