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Holland America Ships Meet Up for Supply, Pax Exchange

Zaandam

Holland America has said the Zaandam is currently off the coast of Panama and rendezvoused with the Rotterdam at 7:30 p.m. local time yesterday, March 26.

"We received approval from Panamanian authorities to conduct ship-to-ship operations at anchor between the two vessels. Medical supplies and additional medical staff were transferred to Zaandam," the company said.

The company is also transferring groups of healthy Zaandam guests to the Rotterdam, with strict protocols for this process developed in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to a press release.

Only those who have not been ill will be moved, and health screenings will be conducted before transferring. Priority for the first guests to transfer will be given to those on the Zaandam with inside staterooms and who are over 70. Once aboard the Rotterdam, all guests will continue to remain in their staterooms until disembarkation. Any guests who are currently ill, or in isolation as a close contact, and all crew will remain on the Zaandam.

While the onward plan for both ships is still being finalized, the company said it will continue to work with the Panamanian authorities on approval to transit the Panama Canal for sailing to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Yesterday a number of patients with respiratory symptoms were tested for COVID-19 and two individuals tested positive. Out of an abundance of caution, on March 22 when the Zaandam first saw a number of guests reporting to the medical center with influenza-like illness symptoms, the line took immediate protective measures, including asking all guests to self-isolate in their staterooms and implementing all other appropriate precautions that have been developed in coordination with the CDC. All guests and crew received face masks yesterday and were provided with instructions on when and how to wear them.

Currently, 53 guests (4%) and 85 crew (14%) have reported to the Zaandam’s medical center with influenza-like illness symptoms. There are 1,243 guests and 586 crew on board. On Zaandam there are four doctors and four nurses. On Rotterdam there are two doctors and four nurses.

The company also said that four older guests have passed away on the Zaandam.

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