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Cruise ship held off California coast after passenger on earlier voyage tested positive for virus, died

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Posted at 10:45 AM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 12:47:51-05

Scrambling to keep the coronavirus at bay, officials have ordered a cruise ship to hold off the California coast to await testing of those aboard, after a passenger on an earlier voyage died and at least one other became infected.

A Coast Guard helicopter is expected to deliver test kits to the Grand Princess once it reaches the waters off San Francisco later in the day.

Princess Cruises has not disclosed how many people are aboard the vessel but says fewer than 100 had been identified for testing.

According to Bay Area news station KGO , the ship traveled from San Francisco to Hawaii and its trip included a stop in Mexico, but that stop was called off.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said test kits will be flown to the ship, which can't dock until results are completed.

A patient in Placer, California-- who tested positive for COVID-19-- died this week, making it the state's first coronavirus death. County health officials said the patient was an elderly adult with underlying health conditions.

According to KGO, the patient was a 71-year-old man, who had been on the cruise ship on Feb. 11 to 21.

Photo caption: California Gov. Gavin Newsom displays a bottle of hand sanitizer while saying the state would take action against price gouging because of the coronavirus, at a Capitol news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, March 4, 2020. In the aftermath of the first California resident to die from the coronavirus, Newsom declared a state declared a statewide emergency to deal with the virus. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)