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Ship with COVID outbreak waits to dock in Milwaukee

The Presque Isle, docked off the coast of Milwaukee.

MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- A cargo ship is waiting to dock at the port of Milwaukee, after nine of its 22 crew members tested positive for COVID-19.

The Presque Isle was hauling 50,000 tons of taconite from Minnesota headed for Gary, Indiana. When it got to Gary, two people were taken to the hospital. The other seven who were sick stayed on the ship.

The Port of Gary didn't have the space or time to take care of the rest of the crew and the ship, so officials called the Port of Milwaukee for help.

"We have plans in place at certain strategic ports around the Great Lakes. We've already made arrangements with the port authorities. We've talked with local hospitals," said Eric Peace, with the Lake Carriers' Association.

The Port of Milwaukee is one of the only ports in the region that can handle a ship that size.

Port officials are working with the Milwaukee Health Department to develop a safety plan, according to WISN-TV.

On Monday, the boat will come into port, crew members will quarantine and the ship will be cleaned. It's been anchored in open water off the coast for several days now.

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