Four passengers aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise that docked in New Jersey on Friday were taken to the hospital after being screened for coronavirus, officials said Friday.
The four were among more than two dozen Chinese nationals on the Anthem of the Seas who authorities feared may be suffering from the illness.
Among those four, one had a fever and at least two were removed from the ship on stretchers, according to NBC News. They are expected to undergo further tests at the hospital, and it is not yet known if they are suffering from the virus.
“Personnel from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention boarded a cruise ship docked in Bayonne this morning and screened 27 passengers who recently traveled from mainland China,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement on Friday.
“After being assessed by the CDC, 23 of those passengers were cleared and four individuals are being evaluated at an area hospital,” he said. “New Jersey currently has no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus and the risk to residents remains low.”
Bayonne Mayor Jim Davis also appeared to downplay the incident.
“I was advised CDC considers this ‘Below Low Risk’ situation,” he wrote on Twitter.
The cruise ship was returning from the Bahamas after a nearly two-week trip.
Royal Caribbean is “closely monitoring developments regarding coronavirus and have rigorous medical protocols in place onboard our ships,” the company said in a statement to CNN.
“Like airlines, we are participating in elevated levels of guest screening to check the spread of coronavirus,” the company said. “We continue to work in close consultation with the CDC, the WHO, and local health authorities to align with their guidance and ensure the health and wellbeing of our guests and crew.”
Five people have been tested for the virus in New York. One patient who was taken to Bellevue Hospital tested negative, and two other cases in Queens are still pending.
Fears over the coronavirus have spread worldwide, with cases reported in 26 countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The illness has infected more than 30,000 people and killed nearly 640, with the majority of them in China. There have been about 12 confirmed cases in the United States since the outbreak began.