Carnival: “This is not a suspected Covid-19 case;” Curry: “We are taking every precaution”

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Update 10:15 p.m.: According to Mayor Curry, the Carnival Cruise crew member who was taken to the hospital from a cruise ship held at JAXPORT Saturday afternoon is no longer being evaluated for coronavirus.

A Carnival spokesperson told Action News Jax the crew member was taken to the hospital for “routine observation” and that it was not suspected the crew member had coronavirus. They said the large presence of first responders at JAXPORT was due to a “miscommunication.”

There appears to be a miscommunication. We were merely interested in getting a crew member to a shoreside hospital for routine observation. This is not a suspected Covid-19 case as the crew member has not visited any communities with Covid-19 spread in the past 14 days.

—  Carnival Cruise Line

Curry later said the city’s response was based on the information provided by the cruise ship personnel.

The initiation of all activity by City of Jacksonville first responders and personnel at UF Health was based on information provided to them by cruise ship personnel, including the patient’s travel history. At this time, I have been told that the patient is no longer being evaluated for COVID-19, but precautions have been and will remain in effect until health professionals complete their work. As I’ve said, we have plans and protocols in place to be able to respond as our city needs. I thank our first responders and UF Health personnel for demonstrating our readiness.

—  Mayor Lenny Curry

Update 6:40 p.m.: Mayor Lenny Curry released this statement regarding the Carnival Ecstasy ship that was held at JAXPORT Saturday afternoon:

“This afternoon at 3:30 p.m., my staff and I were briefed that the Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department (JFRD) had been called to the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal to respond to a sick crew member. The call to first responders came after approximately 2,500 passengers had disembarked. The crew member has been transported to UF Health and is being assessed. Currently, we don’t know the cause of illness, but we are taking every precaution until we know more.”

6 p.m.: Action News Jax Downtown Skycam showed the Carnival Ecstasy departing from JAXPORT.

Original Story: A Carnival Cruise ship was held at JAXPORT before it can set sail.

“We were merely interested in getting a crew member to a shoreside hospital for routine observation,” Carnival Cruises told Action News Jax. “This is not a suspected Covid-19 case as the crew member has not visited any communities with Covid-19 spread in the past 14 days.”

Action News Jax reporter Meghan Moriarty is at JAXPORT where the entrance is blocked off, but dozens of emergency vehicles are visible, including ambulances, firetrucks and police cars.

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The ship holds over 2,000 people. We’re working to find out how many people are being held on the ship.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.




Kevin Beaugrand

Kevin Beaugrand is a digital content producer for Action News Jax.