All 92 cruise ships sailing in the US have COVID cases onboard – but Americans are STILL booking trips: CDC probes liners for outbreaks among vaccinated passengers and crew
- The CDC reported that all 92 cruises operating in the US have COVID cases
- The agency saw cases go from 162 in mid-December to more than 5,000 by December 29, with the agency investigation spread among the vaccinated
- Despite the outbreaks, travelers are still booking trips as they claim the cruises, which check for negative COVID tests and vaccinations, are relatively safe
- Norwegian Cruise Line cancelled eight voyages following the CDC’s report
COVID-19 cases have been reported on every cruise ship sailing in the US as the CDC investigates outbreaks among vaccinated passengers and crew, but travelers are still looking to book trips despite the risks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Wednesday that all 92 cruises operating in the US had multiple COVID cases and were under investigation by the agency to trace the outbreaks.
Despite the investigations, the rise in COVID Omicron and a previous warning from the CDC that Americans avoid cruise lines, passengers like Billy Hirsch, of the CruiseHabit review website, told USA Today that he had no plans to stop cruising.
‘Cruising right now is still by the numbers a very safe option, safer than a lot of places on land’ said Hirsch, who recently booked yet another trip with his wife.
The CDC reported that all 92 active cruises in the US have multiple COVID-19 cases on board
Despite the outbreaks, cruise reviewer Billy Hirsch is among the many still planning trips as he says the cruises are relatively safer than the COVID-19 spread on land
CDC spokeswoman Caitlin Shockey said in a statement that the agency was working closely with cruise lines to investigate the cases and allow the ships, which are stalled in quarantine, to return to port or continue sailing.
‘CDC will obtain additional information from the cruise [ships], such as case exposure histories, details about close contacts, traveler vaccination rates, and medical capacities,’ Shockey said.
In order for the ships to carry on, the CDC must find that the sustained transmission of COVID-19 has not and would not overwhelm medical center resources on board the cruises.
Since late December, cruise ships have been turned away from ports because passengers were testing positive, causing the cruises to skip planned stops or head home, the Washington Post reported.
Last week, the CDC warned all travelers, including those vaccinated, to avoid cruises after the agency found cases skyrocketed from 162 in mid-December to 5,013 by December 29.
The CDC is investigating possible spread among vaccinated crew members and passengers. A ship’s medical resources must not be overwhelmed in order to allow them to reach port
‘The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between people in close quarters on board ships, and the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high, even if you are fully vaccinated and have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose,’ the agency warned.
Cruise lines are requiring all crew and most passengers to be fully vaccinated in order to set sail. Passengers also need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding.
Following the CDC’s report on Wednesday, Norwegian Cruise Line canceled eight voyages due to ‘COVID related circumstances’ and provided refunds to customers.
‘Our first priority is the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit,’ the company said in a statement.
‘We will never compromise on health and safety and we will of course, continue to take all appropriate action to ensure everyone’s well-being and to protect public health.’
The country continues to see a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant.
The US reported 786,824 new cases in the past day, and 1,870 deaths. There were more than 4 million new cases this past week, with nearly 9,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
More than 63 per cent of those eligible for the vaccine are fully vaccinated, and more than 78 per cent have gotten at least one jab.