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Quarantine At Asilomar Conference Grounds Update

Erika Mahoney
An ambulance pulls into Asilomar. Around a dozen people from the Grand Princess cruise ship are currently being quarantined on the conference grounds. State officials are looking after them.


KAZU News has learned more about the quarantine of some Grand Princess cruise ship passengers in Pacific Grove.

On Wednesday, Monterey County officials said about 12 or 13 people are currently quarantined at Asilomar Conference Grounds. However, there’s space for up to 24. 

“They are in a secured area," District 5 County Supervisor Mary Adams said. "And I understand that they were screened when they got off the ship and that they have been tested once they arrived in Monterey County, at Asilomar. I do not know the results of those tests,” Adams said Wednesday. 


Credit Michelle Loxton
Monterey County officials and City of Pacific Grove officials held a press conference Wednesday about the latest information regarding the quarantine.

Earlier this week, Governor Gavin Newsom said passengers from the cruise ship would head to a variety of places, including military bases and various California counties. More than 20 passengers on the cruise had tested positive for COVID-19. 

Monterey County officials said the state did not ask permission to locate a quarantine in Pacific Grove. That’s because Asilomar is a state-owned facility. State officials are handling the situation.

Residents of Pacific Grove shouldn’t worry, according to Martha Blum, the medical director of infection prevention at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.

“There would be no increased risk of exposure just by having these individuals housed on the Asilomar Conference Grounds,” Blum said. 

Blum added the 14 day quarantine comes out of an abundance of caution to observe people for the onset of symptoms following exposure.

At Asilomar, yellow tape surrounds a cluster of buildings and security is in place. 

The quarantine area at Asilomar is blocked off with yellow tape and security guards are posted nearby.

Emily Furner and her family live nearby. She says while it’s a hard time, she has compassion for those who are quarantined. 

“I think of all the medical staff and all the people that are coming along with them,” Furner said while out for a run. “They've given up their whole lives to be on the frontlines for this. I'm so grateful for their sacrifice.”


Credit Erika Mahoney
Emily Furner and her family out for a run. They live about 1,000 feet away from the Asilomar Conference Grounds.

Furner said she and her family won't stop running near the conference grounds because of the quarantine. 

At this time, no Monterey County residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

This is a developing story that will be updated. 

Erika joined KAZU in 2016. Her roots in radio began at an early age working for the independent community radio station in her hometown of Boulder, Colorado. After graduating from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in 2012, Erika spent four years working as a television reporter. She’s very happy to be back in public radio and loves living in the Monterey Bay Area.
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