At least 17 cases of COVID-19 reported on cruise ship that disembarked in New Orleans


NEW ORLEANS (WVUE / Gray News) – At least 17 cases of COVID-19 have been identified among passengers and crew on a Norwegian Cruise Lines cruise ship that disembarked in New Orleans on Sunday, Louisiana Department of Health reported.

This includes 1 probable case of Omicron which was identified among the crew. The crew member is not a resident of Louisiana and has not left the ship, WVUE reported.

Norwegian Breakaway departed New Orleans on November 28 and made stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico during her voyage.

Employees are working to disinfect Norwegian Breakaway on Sunday, after the cruise ship returns to the port of New Orleans with at least 17 positive COVID-19 cases on board, hours before another trip scheduled for Sunday afternoon.(WVUE-Fox 8)

Passengers said they had to show proof of vaccination before boarding New Orleans and were tested for exposure to COVID-19 on Saturday before disembarking on Sunday. The cruise line also gave passengers quick take-home tests when they left the ship.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, Louisiana Department of Health, City of New Orleans, and Port of New Orleans are aware of and are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement existing COVID-19 agreements and protocols with the cruise line.

A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line said those who tested positive for the disease represented “a handful” of the more than 3,200 people on board, and that each person affected was “asymptomatic”.

“We are testing everyone on Norwegian Breakaway prior to disembarkation, as well as post-exposure and quarantine public health advice from the CDC,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “All guests who have tested positive for COVID-19 will either travel by personal vehicle to their personal residence or self-isolate in company-provided accommodation, as directed by the CDC. “

But the effectiveness of such measures – especially how the cruise line or health officials would enforce instructions for sick passengers to go straight home, rather than walking around New Orleans – was an open question.

Some disembarking passengers told WVUE they had been made aware of the positive cases on the ship, while others said they had no idea of ​​the outbreak aboard the liner before being interviewed at this. subject by a journalist.

“Yes, we didn’t hear about that until we heard you speak a second ago,” said Don Canole, a Breakaway passenger from North Carolina. “It would have been nice to know. We might have taken some extra precautions.

The Norwegian Breakaway was scheduled to depart Sunday after 4 p.m. for another seven-day trip, returning to New Orleans on December 12.

“At this time, there has been no change in future sailings planned on Norwegian Breakaway,” said the spokesperson. “We will provide additional updates to affected customers as appropriate. “

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