Ship sail

Princess cruise ship under CDC investigation for coronavirus outbreaks

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A Princess Cruises ship that reported two recent coronavirus outbreaks again tested positive for passengers while docking in San Francisco last week. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websitethe public health agency investigates the Ruby Princess and places the ship under observation.

The ship reported 37 cases on a voyage that docked on April 23, the San Francisco Department of Public Health said in an email. The ship was returning from a tour of Alaska, according to Seattle KOMO Information Station. The SFDPH said 95% of crew and passengers on ships disembarking in San Francisco must be fully immunized under an agreement between cruise lines and the Port of San Francisco. The trip had a 100% vaccination rate for crew and 99% for guests.

Princess Cruises too requires that passengers present proof of vaccination and a negative coronavirus test to board. The cruise line did not immediately respond to a request for comment related to its latest outbreak.

Less than two weeks earlier, on a 15-day Hawaiian cruise that returned on April 11, the SFDPH reported the ship had 143 cases of coronavirus. The vaccination rate was 100% for crew and passengers, and one person on this trip was hospitalized.

“The protocols that have been established are working,” Princess Cruises said in a statement following the April 11 trip. “When cases are identified due to onboard testing, cruise ship protocols help maximize onboard containment with rapid response procedures designed to protect all other guests and crew as well as the communities the ships visit. »

Cruise lines say they will follow CDC coronavirus guidelines

The cruise line said in late March that some passengers and crew on the ship, then returning from a 15-day trip through the Panama Canal, had tested positive for the coronavirus, as had the passengers. on another cruise in January. The March 27 trip counted 73 cases, the SFDPH said.

Of the 97 ships that have opted into the CDC’s covid-19 program for cruise ships, 56 currently reach the threshold cases flagged for investigation.

The CDC lifted coronavirus rules for cruise lines earlier this year, changing its guidelines for masking, testing and vaccination requirements to voluntary recommendations. In February, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Royal Caribbean Group and parent company Princess Carnival Corp. told the Washington Post that they would participate in the program.

The number of coronavirus cases is on the rise again across the country, but there has not yet been an increase in hospitalizations. On Wednesday afternoon, the United States saw a 23% increase in daily cases over the past seven days, with 91 new cases per 100,000 people last week, according to tracking data compiled by The Post.