California cruise passenger's coronavirus death prompts state of emergency, ship quarantine

Coronavirus cruise ship quarantined in U.S.

A 71-year-old coronavirus patient died on Wednesday, less than two weeks after disembarking from a cruise ship in California where he was likely exposed. The death marked California's first coronavirus-related fatality, bringing the national toll up to 11. The other 10 deaths have all been in Washington state.

The Grand Princess Cruise ship was supposed to dock in San Francisco on Thursday, but as CBS News' Jamie Yuccas reports, it is instead being held off the coast until all other passengers are tested for the new COVID-19 disease. Health officials believe the elderly victim was exposed to the virus during the ship's February 11-21 voyage from San Francisco to Mexico, and they now think several others aboard may be infected.  

California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency following the fatality.

"We are going to be flying testing kits to the cruise ship and we are going to be sending those quickly back to the state," said Newsom. The tests were to be taken by helicopter, mostly to a lab in Richmond, California for testing which was expected to take only hours.

Two women on the ship, Leah Carlson and her sister Laura, said they couldn't sleep after learning of the previous passenger's death.

"Everything was running through my head. I don't want to go home. I don't want to go home to my family because I don't want to take anything to them. I don't want to take it to my city if I happen to have it on my clothes or whatever. I don't even know," Laura said in a video.

Further south, in Los Angeles County, there were six confirmed cases including a medical screener at Los Angeles International Airport. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti called the potential public health risk "elevated and significant," adding that officials were expecting more cases.

California had at least 54 coronavirus cases as of Thursday — part of the U.S.'s over 160 infections across 17 states.

Health officials in Washington state have converted an old Econo Lodge Motel into a quarantine facility, as the outbreak there grew and the 10th death was confirmed there.

In New York, several Westchester County schools have been closed after a 50-year-old man was diagnosed with coronavirus and spread it to nine others, including three members of his own family and a neighbor.