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Coast Guard says cruise ships must stay at sea with sick onboard

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Posted at 11:06 AM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 11:06:19-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has directed all cruise ships to remain at sea where they may be sequestered “indefinitely" and be prepared to send any ill passengers to the countries where the vessels are registered due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a memo sent March 29, the agency's top regional official said the new requirements are necessary as medical facilities in South Florida may become too overloaded to deal with sick cruise ship passengers.

Meantime, two Holland America cruise ships are sailing toward Florida after being stranded at sea. Gov. Ron DeSantis says the state's healthcare system is stretched too thin to take on their sick passengers.