SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara County Public Health officials say it's unknown whether the Grand Princess cruise ship will be allowed to anchor in Santa Barbara later this month.
The cruise ship, which docked Monday at the Port of Oakland after at least 21 passengers tested positive for the coronavirus, is scheduled to visit Santa Barbara on March 24.
The health department previously told our newsroom the cruise would not anchor locally unless all passengers had been tested for the virus and cleared from a two-week incubation period. The department said the cruise would also need to be thoroughly disinfected. Monday marked 15 days until the cruise's scheduled visit.
We reached out to the health department Monday to see if there had been any changes and if officials could say whether the cruise ship would be allowed to anchor in Santa Barbara. The department said no decisions had been made.
It came on the same day the City of Monterey announced it was canceling all cruise ship visits through April out of an abundance of caution due to fears over the coronavirus.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department said it was coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ensuring that anything the department does is in line with what the CDC is doing.
"It's a quickly evolving situation," said Jackie Ruiz, a spokeswoman for the health department. "We're really following the lead of the CDC."
The health department was expected to make a presentation regarding the coronavirus during Tuesday's Santa Barbara City Council meeting. Ruiz said the department anticipated there would be questions about cruise ship visits.
Ruiz said there were still no cases of the coronavirus in Santa Barbara County as of Monday.