21 People on Princess Cruise Ship Off California Test Positive for Coronavirus

A first round of testing of cruise ship off California shows significant infection rate.
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Twenty-one people on board a Princess Cruise ship off the coast of California have tested positive for the coronavirus, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters Friday.

Thousands more on board the ship have yet to be tested, the Associated Press reported.

Of those who tested positive aboard the Grand Princess, two are passengers and 19 are crew members, according to reports. The results came after 46 test kits were delivered to the ship by the Coast Guard earlier this week.

Government officials have yet to decide where to bring the passengers ashore for further testing, although Pence indicated they would be taken to a non-commercial port. 

The ship came under scrutiny after a passenger who had been on a cruise on the ship last month and disembarked in San Francisco later died of Covid-19. 

The announcement comes just hours after President Donald Trump expressed reluctance to allow the passengers on shore. “I like the numbers where they are. I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship. That wasn't our fault,” Trump said during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

Trump has shown great concern for how his administration is being perceived in its handling of the coronavirus crisis, claiming in Friday's appearance that there are sufficient test kits available. "Anyone who wants a test can get a test." Pence himself has said there aren't enough available.

Shares of Carnival Corp.  (CCL) - Get Report, the parent of Princess Cruise Lines, fell 72 cents or 2.6%, to close at $27.15 Friday among broad weakness in the markets.

Travel and leisure stocks have been hard hit by fears the coronavirus will curb travel.

Many conferences have been canceled in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, including the SWSX event scheduled in Austin, Texas later this month.