The CDC has 75 different cruise ships in some form of investigation, observation or surveillance due to COVID outbreaks on board, the agency said.
The data update, released late Monday evening, highlights the difficulty in controlling the virus in the face of the highly contagious variant of omicron, especially given its increased ability to infect those who have been vaccinated.
There are 36 vessels under active investigation, 32 where the CDC has already investigated and the vessel remains under observation, and 7 where the CDC is monitoring but the vessel is below the investigation threshold. The status table did not show how many people were infected on each ship, or when.
To meet the investigation criteria, a vessel on a so-called restricted voyage (operating under interim CDC guidelines) must have infections in 0.1% of passengers in the previous seven days, or at least one case among the crew.
The limits are higher for “simulated” or “crewed only” cruises, where there are few or no passengers and the duration of the trip is shorter.
In the past few days alone, some passengers on a luxury Caribbean cruise have had to disembark and self-isolate in New York after testing positive, yet another ship has been denied docking in Mexico after dozens crew members tested positive, and a third ship docked in New Orleans with several infected passengers after a cruise.