COVID clusters emerge on Royal Caribbean, Carnival and MSC cruises
As the omicron continues to spread across the country, cases of COVID continue to emerge on cruise ships.
Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, and MSC Cruises are among the cruise lines currently dealing with clusters of cases on board, resulting in a myriad of scenarios including protocols to mitigate the spread, rerouting, and investigations of the CDC.
The CDC has been working with global public health experts and industry partners to learn more about omicron, spokesperson Dave Daigle told USA TODAY on Thursday. “We are still learning how easily it spreads, the severity of the disease it causes, and the effectiveness of the vaccines and drugs available against it.”
He continued that “cruise travel is not a zero risk activity.”
The likelihood of contracting COVID-19 on cruise ships is “high because the virus easily spreads between nearby people on ships,” Daigle said.
The CDC advises people who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to avoid cruise travel and advises travelers to get a booster shot if they are eligible.
28 revolutionary cases of COVID on the MSC Seashore
The MSC Seashore, which was due to disembark passengers on Thursday, sailed with 28 passengers who tested positive for COVID.
âDuring routine surveillance aboard MSC Seashore, a limited number of guests and crew tested positive for COVID-19. Twenty-eight (all fully vaccinated) of the 4,714 guests and crew – 0.59% of the population on board – were found to be positive, âMSC said in a statement provided by spokesperson Stephen Schuler .
MSC health protocols were implemented “immediately” and all those who tested positive and their close contacts were isolated in cabins with balconies in a separate area of ââthe ship. The majority of people who test positive are asymptomatic, some have mild symptoms.
The cruise line said on Wednesday it would continue to monitor the health of these passengers and crew and offer free tests to passengers who wish “to feel reassured and have peace of mind.”
Carnival Freedom denied entry to Aruba, Bonaire due to COVID cases
Carnival Freedom, which is navigate the Caribbean according to Cruise Mapper, has a “small number” of COVID cases on board and is following protocols, spokeswoman AnneMarie Mathews told USA TODAY on Thursday.
Mathews did not immediately specify the number of cases on board when asked.
âOur protocols anticipate this possibility and we implement them as necessary to protect the health and safety of our guests and our crew,â she said. “This is a vaccinated cruise and all guests have also been tested prior to embarkation.”
Aruba and Bonaire have not allowed Carnival Freedom to call at their ports.
âWe work closely with the CDC and local health authorities in all the ports and destinations we visit,â said Mathews. Unfortunately, the rapid spread of the Omicron variant may influence how some destination authorities view even a small number of cases, even when managed with our rigorous protocols. Some destinations have limited medical resources and focus on management of their own local response to the variant. “
When port tours are canceled, she said, the cruise line will try to find an alternative destination.
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CDC investigates Royal Caribbean’s Sea Odyssey
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigate Royal Caribbean Sea Odyssey ship as it continues to sail with more than 50 COVID cases on board.
“The CDC is investigating the recent increase in COVID-19 cases identified during Royal Caribbean International’s (RCI) Odyssey of the Seas,” CDC spokesperson David Daigle told USA TODAY on Thursday. “All of the cases appear to be mild or asymptomatic. Additionally, there have been no hospitalizations, medical evacuations, ventilator use, or COVID-19-related deaths on this vessel.”
Fifty-five passengers and crew tested positive for COVID-19 on Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship, which departed Fort Lauderdale, Fla. On Saturday for an eight-night trip to the Caribbean, Royal Caribbean said in a statement shared by the spokesperson. Lyan Sierra-Caro.
The ship, which returned briefly to port on Sunday to disembark a passenger with COVID-19, is carrying 3,587 passengers and 1,599 crew. With mandatory vaccinations among all crew members and guests 12 and older, 95% of those on board were fully vaccinated, according to Royal Caribbean.
The health agency is working closely with Royal Caribbean and “will consider several factors” before marking the ship as “red”, in which case it will have to return to port.
On Thursday afternoon, the Odyssey of the Seas was listed in “Yellow” status, meaning “CDC has investigated and the vessel remains under observation.”
Royal Caribbean announced on Wednesday that the cruise will not stop in Curacao or Aruba as planned.
“The decision was made with the islands and out of caution given the current trend of cases in destination communities and having positive COVID-19 cases on board … representing 1.1% of the community at edge, “according to a statement shared by Sierra-Caro.
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