Coronavirus infections among salvage crew members are delaying the removal of a cargo ship that overturned on the Georgia coast 10 months ago.

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer John Miller said Thursday that plans to start cutting the 656-foot ship into eight giant pieces in mid-July have been placed on hold as infected crew members are quarantined along with colleagues who may have been exposed. 

Miller said the multiagency command overseeing the salvage operation still hopes to begin cutting the ship apart by the end of July. He said nine crew members have tested positive for COVID-19 out of more than 260 working on the shipwreck.

The South Korean freighter Golden Ray has been beached off St. Simons Island since September.