Cruise Ship With Coronavirus Patients and Sister Ship Allowed to Dock in Florida

A Holland America cruise ship with sick passengers and its sister ship will be allowed to dock in Florida, a media report says.
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A Holland America cruise ship with sick passengers and its sister ship will be allowed to dock in Florida, a news report said.

The Zaandam and the Rotterdam were both expected to dock at Port Everglades on Thursday afternoon, NBC News reported.

The Broward County Commission in Fort Lauderdale was expected to vote on whether to allow the Zaandam and Rotterdam ships to dock, but a deal has been reached for them to land Thursday, NBC reported, citing sources.

Holland America is owned by Carnival Corp.  (CCL) - Get Report, shares of which were down 9% to $8.01.

Four people have died on the Zaandam, at least two of them from the coronavirus. Nine others have tested positive and 179 more have flu-like symptoms.

The Zaandam left Buenos Aires on March 7 for a two-week trip through South America. The voyage had been originally scheduled to end in Chile on March 21.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had declared that the passengers cannot be "dumped" in his state, dropped his opposition, saying in an interview Wednesday that he wants "everyone to be safe."

Nine passengers will be transported to a local hospital and 45 others who are ill will remain on board. Holland America Line will put foreign nationals on sanitized buses to take them to waiting chartered planes.

Asymptomatic passengers from the Zaandam have been taken on by its sister ship, the Rotterdam. More than 300 Americans are aboard the ships, including 49 Florida residents, several of whom live in Broward County.

The Zaandam is at least the third Carnival-owned ship to become the site of a coronavirus outbreak. 

Carnival Corp. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.