Minnesotans on Grand Princess cruise return home after San Diego quarantine

Those 32 people will now go into self-quarantine, Gov. Tim Walz said.

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ST. PAUL — Thirty-two Minnesotans who were quarantined after a two-week cruise on the Grand Princess cruise ship returned home early Wednesday, March 18 after Minnesota and federal officials coordinated their return.

Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday told reporters that the federal government helped charter a flight home for the Minnesotans. And they arrived back in the state at 3:30 a.m. after days of a chaotic scene at the San Diego quarantine. The ship arrived in Oakland on March 9.

Walz said the individuals were tested before returning to Minnesota, but their results had not yet been processed Wednesday afternoon. Metro Transit vehicles met the travelers on the tarmac and returned them to their homes around the state. Those 32 people will now go into self-quarantine, Walz said.

"I wanted Minnesotans back home. I accepted that if they'd been tested, if it was a chartered flight and we had the capacity to basically quarantine them on the transportation home and basically self-quarantine them in their home, we would do that," Walz said. "Much better situation than being on an airbase on a cot."

Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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