Grand Princess crew member dies at San Francisco hospital, cruise line confirms

A crewmember has died of coronavirus at a San Francisco hospital after being transferred off of the ship last month, according to a group called the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns. 

Terry Valen, a spokesperson for the group, did not state more than that in a news release sent early Friday morning including when the person died exactly where. 

In a text, Valen said he is still trying to confirm some of the details because he learned of the death through his shipmates back in the Philippines. Valen did confirm the crew member was male. Valen said he also didn't know the person's name. 

As of Friday, San Francisco health officials said that 497 pepole had tested positive for coronavirus and seven people had died. 

Union groups played a video today of South Asians crew members still on the Grand Princess in San Francisco, where one crew member recently died of coronavirus.

In an email, spokeswoman Negin Kamali said: "All of us at Princess Cruises are deeply saddened to report that one of our team members who was working on Grand Princess passed away, from complications related to COVID-19. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, team members and all who are impacted by this loss. All of us at Princess Cruises offer our sincere condolences."

An email to the US Department of Health and Human Services was not immediately returned on Friday.

The San Francisco Medical Examiner on Friday said they could not provide information without the person's name or date of death. 

This would be the first crew death publicly reported from the Grand Princess, and would follow news of two passenger deaths last month.  Those passengers were both men in the 60s. 

There was a total of 3,400 passengers and crew members on the ship that set off Feb. 21 to Hawaii. The ship then ended up docking in the Port of Oakland to let the passengers off, and the crew was taken to San Francisco. 

Terry Velen of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns.

According to Valen, hundreds of workers still remain on board the Grand Princess as their 14-day quarantine on board the ship ends on Saturday at 3 p.m.

He also said that crew members had to clean and disinfect the ship, a job they had not been contracted to do. 

The crew has been quarantined on the ship for over a month after a breakout of coronavirus infections was confirmed in early March.

A coalition of community groups, unions, and health professionals held an emergency press conference on Friday. Organizers did not elaborate on the crew member's death, but highlighted what they described as the challenging and sometimes inequitable working conditions of sea farers. 

The groups said they are concerned with worker safety, the treatment of crew members on the ship and listening to the demands of repatriated workers.

Velen said that crew members had to clean the ship, a job they had not been contracted to do. 

Swati Rayasam, a public health expert with the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action, said that crew members should have either been allowed to fly home or be put up in nicer conditions, off the ship, paid for by Princess cruises. 

The groups involved are: the Repatriated Grand Princess Filipino seafarers;  Sam Levens of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) Northern CA Inspector; Keith Shanklin of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 34 President; Swati Rayasam, a public health expert with the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA); Jenabi Pareja with the People’s Association of Workers and Immigrants (PAWIS), Migrante NorCal; and Terry Valen with the Filipino Community Center SF, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON). 

Lisa Fernandez is a reporter for KTVU. Email Lisa at or call her at 510-874-0139. Or follow her on Twitter @ljfernandez