BAYONNE — Four Chinese nationals on board a cruise ship docked at Cape Liberty screened for the novel corona virus have been cleared by the CDC.

The four people were among 27 passengers who were screened when the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Anthem of the Seas docked in Bayonne on Friday morning. They were taken to to University Hospital in Newark for "close observation," according to state health officials.

"After the evaluation at the hospital, the Center for Disease Control permitted the four individuals who arrived Friday via a cruise ship to be discharged. Three of those individuals who stayed in the same cabin were diagnosed with the flu. The other individual stayed in a separate cabin and did not have any symptoms. All four passengers tested negative for novel coronavirus. New Jersey currently has no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus and the risk to residents remains low," Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement on Saturday night.

Royal Caribbean told CBS New York the death of a crew member last weekend was unrelated to any illness and is not considered suspicious.

The Anthem of the Sea, which was originally going to begin a new cruise last Friday, will set sail on Monday.

"Royal Caribbean delayed the next sailing of Anthem of the Seas to confirm the health of our guests and crew and our ship. We are now happy to say that we are ready to set sail. We are sharing the news with our guests, and are sorry for the disruption to their vacations," the cruise line said in a statement.

Passengers were compensated for the lost days of their cruise and those who could not wait until Monday to set sail were issued full refunds.

As of Sunday, 31,300 cases of the novel coronavirus, which first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan in the central part of the country, have been reported worldwide, with 12 cases confirmed in the United States.

The new virus is in the coronavirus family that includes Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. It can cause symptoms that include fever, cough, shortness of breath and in severe cases, pneumonia.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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