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Monday, March 16, 2020

Governor Stitt and Oklahoma State Department of Health ensure their safe return

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 16, 2020) –Governor Kevin Stitt this morning announced the safe return of all 26 Oklahomans who were quarantined aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship and at U.S. military bases.

“Safely bringing these 26 Oklahomans back home as quickly as possible has been my top priority, and we have been working on this day and night,” said Gov. Stitt. “I commend my team and the leadership from the Oklahoma State Department of Health for the hard work and long hours they have invested in their fellow Oklahomans. These passengers were all asymptomatic before being allowed to come home, and our state health department officials will ensure they have the resources they need while resting at home and recovering from this stressful experience.”

Upon departing the cruise ship, the 2,400 passengers were taken to military bases located in California, Georgia and Texas. In order to ensure the swift and safe return of the Oklahomans on board, the State of Oklahoma chartered planes as well as buses to bring them back from their various locations. The first passengers arrived in Oklahoma late Saturday night and the remainder arrived throughout the day Sunday.

This effort to bring the cruise ship passengers home was a collaborative effort between state officials and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 26 individuals are not symptomatic and will remain quarantined at home for 14 days with continued monitoring by local health officials.

“We are thankful to have played a part in the safe return of these Oklahomans and want to stress that their health and well-being are of the utmost importance,” said Commissioner of Health Gary Cox. “Of the 3,500 total people on the cruise ship, there have been only two confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the passengers. We will continue to monitor the health of those who have returned home and provide the support they need.”

As a reminder, the Oklahoma State Department of Health recommends that those who travel should take the following preventive steps:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

For accurate information and updates as this evolves, please visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health website at For questions, please call the OSDH Coronavirus Call Center at 1-877-215-8336.

Last Modified on Aug 13, 2021
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