4 Cruise Ship Passengers Being Evaluated for Coronavirus in New Jersey

BAYONNE, N.J. (AP) -

Four passengers on Friday were taken to a hospital after their cruise ship arrived in Bayonne, New Jersey, for evaluation for a virus that has sickened more than 20,000 and killed nearly 500, mostly in China.

Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement that personnel with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention boarded Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas after it docked and screened 27 passengers who had recently traveled from mainland China.

Murphy said 23 passengers were cleared and four were being evaluated at a hospital.

“The hospital is following proper infection control protocols while evaluating these individuals,” Murphy said.

New Jersey has no confirmed cases.

The cruise ship had left Cape Liberty in Bayonne on Jan. 27 for an 11-day cruise to the Caribbean.

WNBC-TV reported the 23 passengers who were cleared, all Chinese nationals, will be taken to Newark Liberty International Airport for a flight back to China. Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis told the station he was told none of the 27 are from Wuhan, China, the center of the new coronavirus outbreak.

The new virus is in the coronavirus family that includes Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. It causes fever, cough, shortness of breath and, in severe cases, pneumonia.