State Department: Amid coronavirus risk, Americans ‘should not travel by cruise ship’

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FILE – In this Feb. 11, 2020, file photo, the Grand Princess cruise ship passes the Golden Gate Bridge as it arrives from Hawaii in San Francisco. Scrambling to keep the coronavirus at bay, officials ordered the cruise ship to hold off the California coast Thursday, March 5, to await testing of those aboard, after a passenger on an earlier voyage died and at least one other became infected. (Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

(FOX) — The State Department is warning all Americans, and not just the sick, to avoid getting on cruise ships in the wake of the coronavirus risk.

The department wrote in a tweet: “U.S. citizens, especially with underlying conditions, should not travel by cruise ship. #CDC notes increased risk of #COVID19 on cruises. Many countries have implemented screening procedures, denied port entry rights to ships and prevented disembarking.”

As coronavirus concerns have sparked various problems among cruise ships, one company has been offering incentives for travelers to continue taking their voyages.

Carnival Cruise Line sent a letter to guests on Friday addressing the current situation. Included in the message was information regarding perks customers will receive if they don’t reschedule their previously booked trips.

The Grand Diamond Princess cruise ship has been held off the coast of California since Thursday because of an outbreak onboard.

The Grand Princess cruise ship will dock at the Port of Oakland on Monday, officials said.

As of Sunday, 19 crew members and two passengers had tested positive for COVID-19 and those needing “acute” medical treatment or hospitalization will be transported to medical facilities in the state.

COVID-19 has infected more than 100,000 people and killed more than 3,400 in 90 countries, and the toll is growing.

People in senior housing are considered especially susceptible because the disease caused by the new coronavirus is especially dangerous to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

Officials have said the at-risk population appeared to be older adults and those with preexisting medical conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease.

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