About a dozen crew members from two cruise ships that were off the coast of South Florida were hospitalized in Miami Thursday after they became sick, officials said.
Officials from Jackson Health Systems said they were working with the University of Miami Health System and Baptist Health to care for the crew members from two Costa Cruise Line ships, the Magica and the Favolosa.
"While we are all committed to preserving resources for our own residents, an international community like Miami would never turn our backs on people aboard ships at our shores," Jackson Health said in a statement. "A team from Jackson's emergency department worked with the US Coast Guard and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to receive these symptomatic patients at the Coast Guard station, and they will be hospitalized at our three systems until they can safely return home."
An official from PortMiami initially told NBC 6 that the ships might dock Thursday, but officials said the Coast Guard ordered both to stay three miles offshore. The cruise ships will be transporting crew members ashore in their small boats, and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue was working to take them to local hospitals, officials said.
Officials said the crew members had respiratory symptoms consistent with pneumonia and bronchitis. The condition of those being treated was not released. Officials did not confirm in the statement if they would be tested for the coronavirus.
At least 30 crew members onboard the ships reportedly have been dealing with the symptoms, a number even more worrisome considering that the ships have had people on them before that were confirmed to have the coronavirus.
A combined eight people tested positive on the ships with all leaving earlier this month. The ships now just have crew members onboard and had been set to let them off in Cuba on Wednesday before being turned away.
City officials had expressed concern over the potential decision to let the crew off in Miami.
A ship from the Holland America Line that has over 75 passengers and crew members dealing with similar issues was expected to dock next Monday at Port Everglades near Fort Lauderdale.