Thousands of people in Charleston area on Monday after getting off Carnival Sunshine cruise ship

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Thousands of people are now in the Charleston area after getting off the Carnival Sunshine cruise ship from Nassau, Bahamas, on Monday.

Passengers getting off the cruise ship told News 2 they did not have their temperatures taken when disembarking, but they were screened prior to getting on the ship.

Carnival Cruiselines told News 2 they had been in discussions with local officials about our protocols for debarking guests.

“Given the profile of the guests and crew and no one with influenza-like illness (ILI) it was determined in consultation with authorities that a temperature check at exit was not required.   We take temperature of all embarking guests fleetwide,” a spokesperson from the cruise line said.

The City of Charleston responded to the situation saying in part, “After learning that a cruise ship was set to return to Charleston, city leaders on Saturday asked the state public health department, DHEC, to establish and enforce appropriate medical protocols for those disembarking from the ship,” City of Charleston Director of Emergency Management Shannon Scaff said. “It’s our understanding that DHEC then worked directly with the cruise ship’s medical staff to fulfill that request.”

News 2 reached out to the Department of Health and Environmental Control to learn what protocols were being taken:

“A Carnival Cruise Line ship disembarked in Charleston this morning. DHEC worked with the CDC Cruise Ship Task Force and the Senior Ship Physician aboard this vessel to ensure that no passengers were exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19. All 2,441 passengers have been regularly monitored throughout the duration of the trip, which was to Nassau, Bahamas.

As of this morning, March 16, no passengers have been reported as having symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Information about COVID-19 has been distributed in English and Spanish to the passengers and crew, and anyone who may develop any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 is advised to immediately contact their health care provider.”

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